With support from the Open Society Institute and Global Fund for Women, our partner, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" in Bulgaria, published a Bulgarian adaptation of Our Bodies, Ourselves in 2001.
Cast within a framework of gender justice, this resource emphasizes the rights of women as consumers, patients and citizens, and includes a unique introduction addressed to women and men. Its manageable size, balanced tone and comprehensive issue-specific resource lists makes it a valuable reference not only for grassroots communities, but also doctors, health workers and other service providers.
An impressive example comes from 2004, when our partner used the book at 17 training seminars in community centers or "Chitalishte" across the country, followed by workshops for 11 grassroots women’s groups in small towns and villages.
The resource received enthusiastic response and has since been distributed in big and roughly 20 small towns. About 500 copies have been donated to women’s groups and NGOs that use it as a guide in their outreach on women's health and rights.
The OBOS Global Initiative helps with distribution to individuals and organizations working with Bulgarian immigrants in the US.
If you would like more information about this project and explore ways you might get involved, please contact the OBOS Global Initiative staff.
Meet Our Partner
"Our Bodies, Ourselves" in Bulgaria has extensive expertise in issues related to infertility and assisted reproduction. Their goal is to increase access to viable reproductive options for all women and girls through quantitative and qualitative research. Examples of other publications developed by the organization include:
- Social discourses, women’s resistive voices: Facing infertility in Bulgaria (2004). Todorova, I., Kotzeva, T. Women’s Studies International Forum. 26, 2, 139-151.
- Contextual shifts in Bulgarian women’s identity in the face of infertility (2006). Todorova, I. & Kotzeva, T. Psychology & Health, 21 (1), 123-141.
- Cultural meanings of the infertility treatment procedures and new reproductive technologies: Women’s voices from Bulgaria (2009). Panayotova, Y. & Todorova, I. Assisting Reproduction, Testing Genes: Global Encounters with New Biotechnologies, Berghahn Books. Eds. Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli & Marcia C. Inhorn.
- Providers’ constructions of women’s role in cervical cancer screening in Eastern Europe (2006). Todorova, I., Baban, A., Balabanova, D., Panayotova, Y., & Bradley, J. Social Science and Medicine, 63 (3), 776-787.
- Inequalities in cervical cancer screening in Eastern Europe: Perspectives from Bulgaria and Romania (2009). Todorova, I., Baban, A., Alexandrova, A. & Bradley, J. International Journal of Public Health, 54, 222-232. (Awarded Editor’s Choice paper)
Our partner's research and outreach has helped decrease the stigmatization of women that are unable or choose not to have children - a huge concern in Bulgaria's pro-natalist society. They have also reduced disparities in accessing infertility treatment for women that want it, and encouraged clinics to integrate mental health professionals on treatment teams to ensure patients have timely and ongoing access to emotional support. They also make policy recommendations to ensure women can exercise their full range of reproductive rights.
To find out more, see Women’s Health Initiative in Bulgaria Focuses on Health Disparities by Irina Tordorova, the project coordinator in Bulgaria
Due to limited funds, our partner has been forced to scale back activities in recent years. Seeking renewed support for the important work they do on behalf of women and girls in the region, we welcome any suggestions or assistance you might have to offer.
For more information about the “Our Bodies, Ourselves” in Bulgaria, please contact either the OBOS Global Initiative or the organization directly.
Contact Person: Leda Avramova / Yulia Panayotova / Irina Todorova
Address: P.O. Box 238, Sofia 1113, Bulgaria
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / Irina_Todorova@post.harvard.edu
Looking for a Copy?
If you would like copies of the Bulgarian adaptation or their other resources, please contact “Our Bodies, Ourselves” in Bulgaria at firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / Irina_Todorova@post.harvard.edu.
The OBOS Global Initiative also has a limited number of books in stock. Please contact program staff if you live in the US and would like a copy.