Hesperian Health Guides

Introductory Material

HealthWiki > Where Women Have No Doctor > Introductory Material

In this chapter:

Women's Health is in Your Hands

Around the world, millions of women live in rural or urban areas “where there is no doctor” or where health care is not affordable. Many suffer and die needlessly because they lack access to health care and clear, useful information about health. This book is written for them, and for anyone interested in improving women’s health. We hope that everyone—girls, women, health workers and others, even boys and men—will find it useful, even life-saving

We did not write this book alone. We asked women around the world about their health needs, beliefs, and practices—and what they would most like included in the book. Women from many countries met in groups to discuss health topics and sent us the results. Although women’s health services often focus on reproductive health, these groups considered other topics just as important. So this book covers a wide range of health issues. And because of this process, their voices, experiences, and stories helped shape the writing, along with their comments about what was most helpful, what was unclear or incorrect, and what information would be most useful in their communities.

About the word “women”

When this book was first written, there was less awareness about the many ways it is possible to be a woman, and the many ways it is possible to live in what is often thought of as a “female body.” The book now tries to speak to anyone who lives as a woman, as well as people who don’t identify as women but who share health concerns with women. For more about gender, see Sex and Gender.

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Any woman can
be a health worker
This page was updated:17 May 2024