“Our Bodies Ourselves” in China has a long and checkered history, with both official and unofficial versions of the book. As far as we know, there have been 5 different Chinese versions of the book:
- A 1975 Taiwanese edition titled Your Body and Yourself
- A 1987 translation titled A Book by and for Women: Our Body and Our Psychology, translated and edited by Xin Zi (see the book)
- A 1989 edition Our Bodies, Ourselves, translated and edited by Zhou Qiang et. al.
- 1998 edition, titled American Women’s Self-care Classic: Our Bodies, Ourselves, translated by Chinese Women’s Health Network and the Chinese Our Bodies, Ourselves translation group
- A 2008 digital adaptation by the group Educate Women in China
Read more about the different Chinese editions.
The content below refers to the 1998 and 2008 editions.
Translation: American Women’s Self-care Classic: Our Bodies, Ourselves
Chinese Women’s Health Network
The Chinese Women’s Health Network created an adaptation of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” The book was published by Knowledge Publishing House in 1998. It is no longer in print.
Liu Bohong, deputy director of the Women’s Studies Institute of China at Griffith University, served as the coordinator of the Chinese Women’s Health Network and the Chinese adaptation of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”
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.”
For more information about American Women’s Self-care Classic: Our Bodies, Ourselves, please contact Liu Bohong: bohongliu0269 [AT] vip.sina.com
Digital adaptation of “Our Bodies, Ourselves”
Educate Women in China
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.
As per their request, we do not publicize contact information for members of Educate Women in China.