Norma Swenson is one of the early organizers of the global women’s health movement. Working with colleagues across the world, she helped define and create the field of Women and Health today. A co-author and reader for many editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves [OBOS], the best-selling international women’s health and sexuality guide, Norma is also a Co-Founder of the BWHBC [formerly Boston Women's Health Book Collective], the advocacy group called Our Bodies, Ourselves, now celebrating its 40th anniversary.Through the initiatives of groups of women around the world, the book OBOS has been translated or adapted into more than 24 languages including Braille, and sold almost five million copies. Ms. Swenson was formerly a BWHBC Senior Staff member and the organization’s first Director of International Programs, traveling, speaking and consulting in North America and overseas, responding to requests for support from women’s health and human rights groups.
Norma Swenson is also a Past-President of the BWHBC, and served as external advisor with diverse non-profits and NGOs, including the National Women’s Health Network, The National Black Women’s Health Project, the Committee on Women, Population, and The Environment, and ISIS International [in The Philippines], Isis-Women’s International Cross Cultural Exchange [Isis-WICCE] in Uganda. Norma was also a representative at the First Women and Health Meetings convened in Europe [Rome], Latin America [Boyaca, Colombia] and Africa [Kampala, Uganda]. During the UN Decade of Women meetings and related UN Conferences, Swenson organized collaborations and presentations at Copenhagen, Nairobi, Vienna, Cairo, and Beijing, on behalf of BWHBC and the global women’s health movement. Previously an organizer in the maternity care reform movement, she is a Past President of the ICEA [ The International Childbirth Education Association], and BACE [The Boston Association for Childbirth Education], in addition she served as Faculty and Symposia participant for the former Maternity Center Association, now Childbirth Connection, in New York. Norma Swenson is among a handful of scholar/ activists who participate in all three arenas of the Global Women’s Health Movement: Maternity Care Reform; Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; and Global Women and Health.
Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Thailand, and Uganda. Also: Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Western Europe [Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, & Switzerland.]