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Excerpts from Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas

I. Knowledge is Power (excerpt from the introduction)

We begin the book with the phrase "knowledge is power" because all of our shared tasks as women to better our health begin with what we know and learn from each other. If we have access to education and information about our health, there is much we can do to improve the basic conditions necessary for our families and communities to thrive. To know is to have the power to learn and change, the power to disagree, to explore and to enjoy. To know is to have the power to be free and independent and also the power to love and support the well-being of those around us; in sum, to know is to be a woman, fully empowered. In the first section of this book we present a vision of good health as well-being in all of life's dimensions. We emphasize the importance of joining with other women in order to create a more just world that supports the well-being of all. We also explain that the medical system must be used with care, recognizing that our good health doesn’t start with the medical establishment but from the quality of our lives and relationships. The education and information offered by books are just some of the indispensable tools for a more just world. We also need the support of other women who validate our experiences, share our common needs and understand our commitments. Daily life with our family and communities clearly shows us that our capacity to assume responsibility and our power to act and resolve matters come from the support and resources offered by other women.

In Latin America, feminism is enmeshed with other movements for social justice. We believe that changes are necessary for men as well as women. Our writers, artists, poets and musicians are a source of inspiration for our political movements, because their words and songs help us to envision the possible worlds for which we struggle. They offer us sacred and beautiful spaces, filled with music, poetry, the scent of flowers and the inviting smells from pots generously overflowing with stews. Let us celebrate together what we can achieve together.

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