In 2017, a Luganda adaptation of several chapters of Our Bodies, Ourselves was published for women in Uganda. The chapters were adapted by Diana Namumbejja Abwoye, a Ugandan woman who is now a nurse practitioner in Boston. Editor Florence Namukabya and reviewer Laureen Ndagire also contributed.
Based on the 2011 U.S. edition, the Luganda book covers topics related to identity, relationships, sexuality, birth control, safer sex, pregnancy and birth. These topics were selected because of their direct – and critical – impact on women’s lives in Uganda.
Namumbejja Abwoye explains the need for this information: “Through my experience both as a Ugandan girl growing up and in my work with Ugandan women, I know these are the issues that women and girls face daily…. Culturally, women do not discuss sexuality, sex, and birth control with their daughters. Daughters who are lucky will discuss it with their paternal aunts. This book is intended to be a go-to resource.”
The book is adapted to the Ugandan cultural context, including “slang” terms commonly used by Ugandan women and first person stories shared by Ugandan women.
Available for free in the community, the book is mainly distributed via hair salons, women’s groups and clubs, and market places. It is also available online and used extensively by Namumbejja Abwoye in her ongoing work to increase access to health and sexuality information among teen and HIV positive mothers in Uganda.
In November 2017, Namumbejja Abwoye spoke with OBOS about how the original book changed her life and propelled her to develop a Luganda edition for her country. Read the blog.
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