Published in 1998
Translation: American Women’s Self-Care Classic Our Body, Our Selves
Our Bodies, Ourselves Project
The Chinese Women’s Health Network published an adaptation of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” in 1998. A third print run followed in 1999. It is no longer in print.
Soon after publication, Hillary Clinton highlighted the book during a visit to China.
In the process of translating “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” the Chinese women identified what they came to call “The Seven Principles” of OBOS’s work*:
1. Look at health through women’s eyes [experiences].
2. Reflect the participation of women in determining or deciding [women’s] health.
3. Re-definition of women’s health [care].
4. Capacity building and empowerment [organizing].
5. A challenge to the medical profession [authority].
6. Instituting women’s solidarity and self-help.
7. Respect women’s life experiences and diversity, and choice based on information.
*translated by Youli, head of the Chinese United Nations Development Program office and convener of the East-West women’s group, whose committee, while preparing for the 1995 Beijing World Women’s Conference, was told from numerous sources it consulted that they needed to learn from “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”
Educate Women in China: Community Action & Activism
In 2008, an eclectic group of activists who banded together under the name Educate Women in China asked the OBOS Global Initiative for permission and support with translating excerpts from “Our Bodies, Ourselves” — specifically sections on sexually transmitted infections, breast cancer, contraception methods and violence and abuse — for mobile and digital distribution.
Much of this content was field tested in rural settings for tone and accessibility. The group’s goal is ultimately to reach 1.5 million women and girls, using communications strategies that make information safe to disseminate, given government censorship, and easy to digest. For example, text messages are framed as “health tips of the day” and presented in question-and-answer format.
A team of young women is also helping to design and moderate a blog that will be used as an information hub.
For more information, please contact Liu Bohong: email@example.com
Liu Bohong is deputy director of the Women’s Studies Institute of China at Griffith University. She served as the coordinator of the Chinese Women’s Health Network and the first Chinese adaptation of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”
As per their request, we do not publicize contact information for members of Educate Women in China. Please contact the OBOS Global Initiative if you need additional assistance.