“Our Bodies, Ourselves” Translations and Adaptations

Ever since the first English edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” was published in 1970, the book has been translated and adapted into many different languages. As far back as 1974, publishers and women’s organizations in Europe sought to use it as a resource for their countries, resulting in eight different translations across Europe. Projects later followed in Russia, Egypt, South Africa, China, Japan and Israel, many of which moved away from commercially produced direct translations to resources that were adapted by women who lived in the communities where the materials were created.

Over the years, the OBOS global partners have held three in-person gatherings to share their experiences adapting the book and to learn from each other. The meetings took place in 2001, 2002, and 2011. Read more about these gatherings.

As of Jan. 2024, resources based on “Our Bodies, Ourselves” have been developed in 34 different languages. The most recent project, Nossos Corpos por Nós Mesmas, a Portuguese Brazilian adaptation, was published in 2022. Additional projects are underway: The Roshan Institute for Persian Studies and the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland are developing online content in Farsi and women from the Assiouar Association in Morocco are creating resources on sexual anatomy and body image in Arabic and French.

Excerpts from resources or the full resource are available online in 15 languages, including Arabic, Bangla, French, Hebrew, Kiswahili and Russian.

Through their publications and outreach, OBOS’s partners have reached millions of people with information on reproductive health, sexuality, and human rights, and given people the skills to translate this information into action.

You can read more about the history of translations and adaptations of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” and find out what’s involved in creating a resource in your community.