For the last four decades, Norma Swenson has been one of the principal forces behind the definition and creation of a women’s health care movement in this country and abroad. Swenson first became disillusioned with the male-dominated medical establishment as a young woman over the issue of childbirth, and since then her role as a health activist has spread to encompass the range of factors that specifically affect the well-being of women around the world. She was one of the founders and a senior staff member for more than 20 years of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, the group of women who in the 1970s revolutionized the health care field by maintaining that women, not male doctors, were the experts about the nature and care of the female body. She is a co-author and co-editor of the collective’s ground-breaking guide to women and their health, Our Bodies, Ourselves, which has sold more than four million copies worldwide and which National Black Women’s Health Project founder Byllye Avery has called “the bible for women’s health.”
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