Hesperian Health Guides

How to use this book

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HealthWiki > Health Actions for Women > Introductory Material > How to use this book


Health Actions for Women was written to help women and men move their communities from recognition of a problem, to discussion of how it affects us, to action for change to improve women’s and girl’s health. The book is organized to help that process along. You do not need to read the chapters in the order they are listed on the next page. Start wherever you find the content or topics that best address your needs and your issues.

Chapter 2: Communities Organize for Women's Health, and Chapter 10: Building a Women's Health Movement, can help you think about the process of creating plans for action and community organizing. Both Chapter 3: Gender and Health and Chapter 4: Sexuality and Sexual Health contain important information, analysis, and activities that provide a foundation for the education and organizing work on the issues covered in the other chapters.

Each chapter begins with a Table of Contents listing the main sections and activities included in that chapter. You can also use the Links to Activities to find your way directly to activities throughout the book. Appendix B: Good Meetings, from Start to Finish, and Appendix C: Activities to Encourage Participation contain more activities as well as tips on how to facilitate meetings, guide difficult discussions, and help a group of people become comfortable meeting and working together.

a woman speaking.
The women in my organization tried out several of the activities in this book. We sent in suggestions about what worked and did not work for us, and how we changed the activities to fit our culture. I am glad to see our advice and suggestions included in the book along with the activities — maybe they will help you too.

See a list of all the groups who shared their experiences in promoting women’s health and empowerment with us, along with their contact information. A collection of print and online resources that we have found helpful, and we hope may help you too, is found in Other Resources.

A book like this is never done. To share your activities, experiences, and other good resources you have found or developed with Hesperian and other health educators and community organizers, please email us at: [email protected]. We can’t wait to hear from you!