Cover Image
close this bookWhere Women Have No Doctor - A Health Guide for Women (Hesperian Foundation, 1997, 600 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWomen’s health is in your hands
View the documentThanks
View the documentAbout this Book
View the documentHow to Use this Book
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 1: Women’s Health Is a Community Issue
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 2: Solving Health Problems
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 3: The Medical System
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 4: Understanding Our Bodies
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 5: Health Concerns of Girls
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 6: Pregnancy and Childbirth
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 7: Breastfeeding
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 8: Growing Older
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 9: Women with Disabilities
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 10: Staying Healthy
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 11: Eating for Good Health
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 12: Sexual Health
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 13: Family Planning
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 14: Infertility (When You Are Not Able to Have a Baby)
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 15: Abortion and Complications from Abortion
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 16: Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Other Infections of the Genitals
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 17: AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 18: Violence Against Women
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 19: Rape and Sexual Assault
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 20: Sex Workers
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 21: Pain in the Lower Abdomen
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 22: Abnormal Bleeding from the Vagina
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 23: Problems of the Urine System
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 24: Cancer and Growths
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 25: Tuberculosis
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 26: Work
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 27: Mental Health
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 28: Alcohol and Other Drugs
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 29: Refugees and Displaced Women
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 30: Female Circumcision
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 31: Use of Medicines in Women’s Health
View the documentTable of Medicines: Green Pages
Open this folder and view contentsHealth Care Skills
View the documentVocabulary: List of difficult words
View the documentWhere to get more information
View the documentBack cover


It is impossible to adequately thank all the people who made Where Women Have No Doctor a reality. This book started as a good idea shared by a small group of women and ended up as a remarkable international collaboration spanning 5 continents. Now we find ourselves wanting to thank everyone who helped, but simply listing their names does not do justice to the tremendous and generous contributions so many have made: from the groups of women who met early on to discuss topics related to women’s health care, and who later reviewed chapters we wrote based on what they told us; to others who sent us original materials or reviewed (often several times) different sections of the book; to others who wrote drafts of chapters; to the specialists in women’s health care who reviewed parts of or the entire manuscript; and to the artists - women from 23 countries - whose illustrations reflect just how diverse a project this was. We thank you all, for through your combined efforts, this book now rightfully belongs to any woman who reads or uses it.

Wholehearted thanks to the following friends of Hesperian for their work on writing specific chapters, or for contributing the time or ideas that helped complete them:

Abortion: Judith Winkler of IPAS, and Judith Tyson

Breastfeeding: Felicity Savage King, Helen Armstrong, Judy Canahuati, and Nikki Lee

Female Circumcision: Jane Kiragu, Leah Muuya, Joyce Ikiara, the women of Mandaeleo Ya Wanawake, Nahid Toubia and Zeinab Eyega of Rainbo, Grace Ebun Delano, Abdel Hadi El-Tahir, Inman Abubakr Osman, and Dehab Belay

Mental Health: Carlos Beristain

Pregnancy: Suellen Miller

Rape and Violence: Elizabeth Shrader Cox

Sex Workers: Eka Esu-Williams

Women with Disabilities: Judith Rogers, Pramila Balasundaram, and Msindo Mwinyipembe

In addition, we are deeply indebted to Sara Boore, Heidi Broner, Regina Faul-Doyle, Susan Fawcus, Blanca Figueroa, Sadja Greenwood, May Haddad, Richard Laing, Lonny Shavelson, Richard Steen, and Deborah Wachtel, for their constant availability and selfless efforts in ways too diverse and numerous to mention. It’s hard to imagine what we would have done without them.

Thanks also to the following groups of women in different countries who contributed so much of their time, hearts and minds to review these materials and enrich the book: in Bangladesh: The Asia Foundation; in Botswana: Thuso Rehabilitation Centre, Maun; in Brazil: the Association of Community Health Workers of Canal do Anil, and the health educators of Itaguai; in Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen: the many groups of women who are members of the Arab Resource Collective; in El Salvador: the women of Morazand Chalatenango; in Ethiopia: the groups of women who met in Addis Ababa; in Ghana: The Association of Disabled Women, Dorma Ahenkro, the school girls of Wa, and the women of Korle Bu; in Honduras: the women of Urraco Pueblo; in India: CHETNA, SEWA, Streehitikarini, the women of Bilaspur, Madhya Pradech, and the exiled women of Tibet; in Kenya: Mandaeleo Ya Wanawake - from the districts of Machakos, Kitui, Kerugoya and Murang’a - the Dagoretti Clinic Community Health Workers, the Mwakimai Self Help Group of Kisi, Crescent Medical Aid, the women of Population and Health Services (PHS) of Nairobi, and the women of VOWRI, Nairobi; in Mexico: the women of Ajoya, and the community health promoters of Oaxaca; in Nigeria: the Nigeria Youth AIDS Programme; in Papua New Guinea: the East Sepik Women and Children’s Health Project; in the Philippines: GABRIELA, HASIK, LIKKHAN, REACHOUT, and the People’s Organizations for Social Transformation; in Sierra Leone: the women of Matatie Village; in the Solomon Islands: the women of Gizo; in Uganda: the Kyakabadiima Women’s Group, and WARAIDS; and in Zimbabwe: the Women’s Action Group.

And heartfelt gratitude to the countless others who gave so freely of their time and talents, especially:

Hilary Abell
Jane Adair
Niki Adams
Christine Adebajo
Vida Affum
Stella Yaa Agyeiwaa
Baldreldeen Ahmed
Felicia Aldrich
Bhim Kumari Ale
Jennifer Alfaro
Thomas Allen
Nancy Aunapu
Adrianne Aron
Fred Arradondo
Rosita Arvigo
Leonida Atieno
Kathy Attawell
Elizabeth de Avila
Enoch Kafi Awity
Marie Christine N. Bantug
David Barabe
Naomi Baumslag
Barbara Bayardo
Carola Beck
Rayhana Begum
Medea Benjamin
Marge Berer
Denise Bergez
Stephen Bezruchka
Pushpa Bhatt
Deborah Bickel
Amie Bishop
Edith Mukisa Bitwayiki
Michael Blake
Paulina Abrefa Boateng
Simone Bodemo
Nancy Bolan
Peter Boland
Bill Bower
Christine Bradley
Paula Brentlinger
Verna Brooks
Mary Ann Buckley
Sharon Burnstien
Mary Ann Burris
Sandra Tebben Buffington
Elizabeth Bukusi
Elliot Burg
May Florence Cadiente
Indu Capoor
Ward Cates
Mary Catlin
Denise Caudill
Barbara Chang
Amal Charles
Andrew Chetley
Casmir Chipere
Lynne Coen
Louise Cohen
Mark Connolly
Karen Cooke
Kristin Cooney
Chris Costa
Elizabeth Cox
Clark Craig
Betty Crase
Mitchell Creinin
Marjorie Cristol
Bonnie Cummings
George Curlin
Philip Darney
Sarah Davis
John Day
Grace Ebun Delano
David de Leeuw
Junice L. Demeterio-Melgar
Lorraine Dennerstein
Kathy DeReimer
Maggie Diaz
Gerri Dickson
Becky Dolhinow
Efua Dorkenoo
Brendon Doyle
Sunun Duangchan
Deborah Eade
Beth Easton
Christine Eber
Tammy Edet
Abdel Hadi El-Tahir
Erika Elvander
Li Enlin
John Ensign
Nike Esiet
Steven A. Esrey
Clive Evian
Zeinib Eyega
Melissa Farley
Betty Farrell
Anibal Faundes
Sharon Fonn
Claudia Ford
Diane Jinto Forte
Daphne Fresle
Anita Gaind
Loren GalvBR>Monica Gandhi
Sabry Khaill Ghobrial
Gayle Gibbons
Marta Ginebreda
Lynn Gordon
Nora Groce
Gretchen Gross
Dora Gutierrez
Ane Haaland
Kathleen Haley
Shirley Hamber
Janie Hampton
Joanne Handfield
Barbara Harrington
Richard Harvey
Fauzia Muthoni Hassan
Elizabeth Hayes
Lori Heise
N.S. Hema
Shobha Menon-Hiatt
Hans Hogerzeil
Jane Holdsworth
Nap Hosang
Douglas Huber
Ellen Israel
Genevieve Jackson
Jodi Jacobson
Carol Jenkins
Signy Judd
Margaret Kaita
Mustapha Kamara
Tom Kelly
Mary Kenny
Joyce Kiragu
Susan Klein
Ahoua KonR>Zoe Kopp
Anna Kretsinger
Diana Kuderna
Anuradha Kumar
Dyanne Ladine
Joellen Lambiotte
Kathleen Lankasky
Lin Lap-Chew
Hannah Larbie
BA Laris
Laura Laski
Carolyn Lee
Jessica Lee
Pam Tau Lee
Susan Lee
Felicia Lester
Abby Levine
Cindy Lewis
Sun Li
Peter Linde
Betsy Liotus
Stephanie Lotane
Susan Lovich
Nellie Luchemo
NP Luo
Esther Galima Mabry
Martha Macintyre
Margaret Mackenzie
Rebecca Magalh
Monica Maher
Fardos Mohamed Mahmoud
Lisa Maldonado
J. Regi Manimagala
Karin Manzone
Alan Margolis
Kathy Martinez
Rani Marx
Sitra Maunaguru
Danielle Mazza
Pat Mbetu
Dorothy Mbori-Ngacha
Gary Mcdonald
Sandy McGunegill
Katherine McLaughlin
Molly Melching
Tewabetch Mengistu
Tasibete Meone
Sharon Metcalf
Ann Miley
Jan Miller
Kathy Miller
Donald Minkler
Eric Mintz
Barbara Mintzes
Linda Mirabele
Nanette Miranda
David Modersbach
Rahmat Mohammad
Gail Montano
Maristela G. Monteiro
Mona Moore
David Morley
Sam Muziki
Arthur Naiman
Nancy Newton
Elizabeth Ngugi
Eunice Njovana
Folashade B. Okeshola
Peaches O’Reilly
Emma Ottolenghi
Mary Ellen Padorski
Lauri Paolinetti
Jung Eun Park
Sarah Parsons
Laddawan Passar
Palavi Patel
Jamel Patterson
Andrew Pearson
Gita Pillai
Linda J. Poole
Malcolm Potts
Alice Purdy
Robert Quick
Zahida Qureshi
Lisa Raffel
Rita Raj-Hashim
Narmada Ranaweera
Rebecca Ratcliff
Augusta Rengill
Dawn Roberts
Kama Rogo
Nancy Russel
Carolyn Ryan
Mira Sadgopal
Valdete Sala
Estelle Schneider
Kimberly Schultz
Violet Senna
Shalini Shah
Nicolas Sheon
Mira Shiva
Kathy Simpson
Mohindra Singh
Elise Smith
Cathy Solter
Barbara de Souza
Judith Standly
Fatima Jubran Stengel
Kay Stone
Marianne Stone-Jimenez
Eleanor Sullivan
Susan Sykes
Michael Tan
Linda Teitjen
Judith Timyan
Susan Toft
Rikka Transgrud
Nhumey Tropp
Barbara Trott
Sandy Truex
Ilana Trumbull
Janis Tunder
Nanette Tver
Aruna Uprety
Gilberte Vansintejan
Sarah Verbiest
Carol Vlassoff
Bea Vuylsteke
Bela Wabi
Martha Wambui
Judith Wasserheit
Ruth Waswa
Barbara Waxman
Jane Weaver
Vivienne Wee
Ellen Weis
Rachel West
Eve Whang
Kate White
Wil Whittington
Laura Wick
Pawana Wienrawee
Christine van Wijk
Everjoyce Win
Kathryn Wirogura
Erin Harr Yee
Irene Yen
Rokeya Zaman
Marcie Zellner
Kaining Zhang
Lisa Ziebel
Margot Zimmerman

The following persons and groups kindly gave us permission to use their artwork: Family Care International for numerous drawings by Regina Faul-Doyle from their book Healthy Women, Healthy Mothers: An Information Guide; Macmillan Press Ltd., for Janie Hampton’s drawing from Healthy Living, Healthy Loving; the Environmental and Development Agency, New Town, South Africa for the drawing from their magazine, New Ground; Honto Press for Akiko Aoyagi Shurtleff’s drawing from Culinary Treasures of Japan; the Movimento de Mulheres Trabalhadoras Rurais do Nordeste for the drawing from O Que Gro?; and the Colectivo de Mujeres de Matagalpa and the Centro de Mujeres de Masaya for the drawing from their manual ¡Malle las limas!. And thanks to Connexions magazine.

We also thank the following foundations and individuals for their generosity in financially supporting the project: Catalyst Foundation; Conservation, Food and Health Foundation; C.S. Fund; Domatila Barrios de Chungara Fund; Ford Foundation; Greenville Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation; David and Lucile Packard Foundation; San Carlos Foundation; Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency; Kathryn and Robert Schauer; and Margaret Schink. Thanks also to the many individuals who made contributions to match a Catalyst Foundation grant. Finally, a special thanks to Luella and Keith McFarland for their early support and encouragement, and to Davida Coady for believing in this project and pushing it forward during a difficult time.