Serbia: The Women's Health Promotion Center
"This book should be given to each daughter by her father." – The printer of the Serbian adaptation.
Published in 2001, the Serbian edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves focuses on the sexual violence, physical and psychological trauma suffered by women in conflict. It is designed like a journal, with blank space on each page so they can record experiences and share copies – and their stories – with one another.
The book is adapted and different from Our Bodies, Ourselves in many ways. For example, our partner dropped the chapter on “Eating Well” because they felt it was inappropriate given the economic situation and the number of people starving during ethnic conlict in the country. They also wrote a new chapter on violence, based on the experiences of Serbian women and the prevailing political environment.
Funding for this resource came from several sources, including an individual anonymous donor whose support in 2005 resulted in distribution of 200 books to ethnic minority communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Since publication, our partner has distributed their adaptation through book stores and women’s groups, as well as donated copies to government agencies and other allies. They have used it in educational workshops, trainings and public discussions, reaching about 10,000 to 11,000 women in the community. In summer 2004, the OBOS Global Initiative distributed 40 copies in the US, primarily to resettlement programs serving Serbian refugees.
Since the early 1990's, our partner has also helped draw public and government attention to women's health and make it a central part of social and health policy. Some examples of their impact: a screening protocol and questionnaire on domestic violence - the first of its kind in Serbia, and now a part of routine medical evaluations in public and private health care settings; an action plan on promoting women's health that has been incorporated into the country's national response on gender equality; special guidelines on protecting and supporting women exposed to violence that are now used by the Ministry of Health; and a WHO Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Violence Against Women.
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
The Women’s Health Promotion Center is a non-government organization working on women’s health and health consequences of gender-based violence. Established in 1993, the organization has 16 years of pioneering experience in this field, first as the Women's Health Program at the Autonomous Women's Center Against Sexual Violence and now, as an independent organization that:
- Promotes gender equity in health and improves access to high quality services.
- Ensures gender and health are integral components of all health/social policies and programs.
- Promotes a holistic approach to women's health through the life span.
- Ensures early detection of gender based violence and appropriate interventions for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the health care system.
To achieve the above, the organization implements educational programs for health care providers and members of government and non-government groups. They also conduct research, produce health information resources, and organize a range of advocacy and outreach initiatives.
Over the years, they have successfully implemented 23 projects and continue to collaborate regularly with government and non-government organizations, women's groups, academic institutions, and independent experts.
For more information, please contact either the OBOS Global Initiative or the organization directly.
Contact Person: Stanislava Otasevic / Divna Matijasevic
Address: Macvanska 8, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia, Europe
Looking for a Copy?
The Women’s Health Promotion Center has a limited number of copies of the Serbian adaptation. If you would like one, please contact them at sotas@EUnet.rs.