Our Bodies Ourselves Today & Our Bodies Ourselves
This website is a collaboration between two entities: Our Bodies Ourselves Today, which is an initiative of the Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University, and the nonprofit organization Our Bodies Ourselves (also known as the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective).
Our Bodies Ourselves is best known for the trailblazing feminist book Our Bodies, Ourselves. First published in 1970, the book was revised and updated eight times, most recently in 2011. It has sold more than 4 million copies and been translated and adapted by women’s groups around the world.
For decades, Our Bodies Ourselves staff, founders, and board members engaged in multiple programs, coalitions, and campaigns to improve the lives and health of women. In 2018, Our Bodies Ourselves transitioned to a volunteer-led organization and scaled back its core work to two primary areas: advocating for women’s health, sexual rights, and social justice and providing support to our global partners.
That same year, Our Bodies Ourselves and Suffolk University’s Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights began a partnership to develop Our Bodies Ourselves Today.
The Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights was founded in 2003. It is the first academic institute in the United States to focus on women’s health as a human rights imperative. It works locally, nationally, and internationally to promote knowledge and advocacy for the health and human rights of women, girls, and gender-expansive people everywhere. The deep alignment between the missions of the Center and Our Bodies Ourselves, along with a decades-long collaborative relationship, made the Center the natural home for Our Bodies Ourselves Today.
The Center has undertaken a number of major projects (and many smaller ones) over the years, guided and inspired by the vision and intellectual generosity of our affiliated scholars, artists, and activists. The Practicum in Advocacy at the United Nations brought student delegations to New York each year to participate in the Commission on the Status of Women meetings at the UN. Graduates of our Master of Arts in Women’s Health program have gone on to specialize in fields as diverse as nursing, medicine, public health, and nonprofit leadership. Here in Boston, the Massachusetts CEDAW Project sought to persuade the Commonwealth to abide by the human rights standards articulated in the “Women’s Bill of Rights.” (CEDAW stands for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.) Currently, the Women and Incarceration Project is working toward a society that values women, respects and protects human rights, meets human needs, and rejects reliance on punitive criminal legal approaches to solve social problems.
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