Hesperian Health Guides

La santé des femmes


The following organizations, printed materials and internet resources have useful women’s health information and many more activities. Materials are often available as free PDF downloads from the websites listed, and many of these groups also have Facebook pages.

Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA)
Based in India, and working in the global South, CREA conducts trainings to strengthen, feminist leadership on issues related to sexuality, gender, violence, movement building and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and organizes other advocacy initiatives. CREA also distributes educational resources in Hindi and English on their website.

Global Network of Sex Work Projects: Promoting Health and Human Rights
NSWP has information about networks of sex workers all over the world who advocate for their human rights at many local and international conferences. Information is available in Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Straight to the Point: Mapping an Advocacy Strategy
A 3-step guide to help a community based organization develop an advocacy plan. Helpful for a range of public health and social justice issues, and available in English, French and Portuguese.

Women’s Link Worldwide
A human rights organization with information in English and Spanish that works to make sure laws related to women’s rights that may be in place in a country are actually carried out and honored in the community.

An agency of the United Nations that has information and resources from around the world on gender equality and the empowerment of women

World Pulse: Bringing Women a Global Voice
A web-based network that connects women all over the world and allows them to share ideas and solutions for issues that affect women.

International human rights law and women’s rights

The following organizations work around the world to promote better understanding of international laws and how to use human or women’s rights agreements in local campaigns:

Human Rights Agreements

Human Rights Brief

International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW)

International Women’s Rights Project (IWRP)



UN human rights system and committees

UN Women: Virtual Knowledge Center to End Violence against Women and Girls

Women’s Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC)

Women’s Human Rights Resources Programme (WHRR)

Women’s UN Report Program and Network (WUNRN)


Abortion, Attitude, Transformation: A Values Clarification Toolkit for Global Audiences by Katherine L. Turner and Kimberly Chapman Page

This toolkit includes activities and materials to help a health educator promote better support for and access to high-quality, woman-centered abortion care and sexual and reproductive rights.

MARIA fondo de aborto para la justicia social (Mexico)
MARIA helps women in Mexico access safe and legal abortion services.
Email: [email protected]
Telephone 01800-8327311 or (00152) 52435054 in Mexico

Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters
In Urdu and English, this confidential, online, 24-hours-a-day support service in Pakistan is free and safe. For information on abortion, email or telephone and leave a message and a health worker will respond within 24 hours.
Email: [email protected]
Telephone 0800-22-333 toll-free

Women on Waves
Based in the Netherlands, this website has information about abortion using misoprostol, in Dutch, English, Farsi, French, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. Also a world-wide listing of family planning, women’s health, and abortion rights organizations, including telephone hot lines.

Women on Web
An online medical abortion service that helps women around the world gain access to safe abortion (with the pills mifepristone and misoprostol) in order to reduce the number of deaths due to unsafe abortions.

Pregnancy and Birth

AFRIpads makes low-cost, washable cloth sanitary pads. Currently they are available only in Uganda.

The Anti-shock Garment
The Anti-shock Garment is a rubber suit that closes tightly around a womean's lower body. It stops hemorrhage during pregnancy and birth, from ectopic pregnancy, from ruptured uterus, or from other causes, and treats shock by sending blood from the legs to the brain, heart, and lungs. Contact: [email protected]

Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD)
Works with developing countries and international agencies to improve access to and quality of emergency obstetric care. AMDD has some training materials available for free on their website.

Childbirth Graphics
Sells educational tools including books, posters, and models for teaching about pregnancy, birth, and women’s health.

Days for Girls International:
Distributes washable Feminine Hygiene Kits around the world for use during monthly bleeding. Contact them to see if they are available in your country.

Home Based Life Saving Skills Manual by S. Buffington, L. Sibley, D. Beck, D. Armbruster, American College of Nurse Midwives

Healthy Women, Healthy Mothers: An Information Guide by A. Arkutu, Family Care International, Inc.
Available in English and French.

GOONJ’s ‘Not just a piece of cloth’ initiative works in remote communities in India to promote appropriate, healthy and sustainable ways for women to manage monthly bleeding. The project includes providing sanitary pads made from recycled cloth and teaching women how to make and reuse their own.

International Confederation of Midwives
An organization of midwives and midwifery groups from around the world. Organizes international conferences for midwives and helps organize smaller, local conferences too.

Life-Saving Skills Manual for Midwives byM.A. Marshal, and S. Buffington, American College of Nurse Midwives
Available in English, French, and Spanish.

Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth,Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization
Available in English, French, and Spanish.

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
A network of organizations and people who are working to prevent death and injury of women during pregnancy and birth. There are local offices in many parts of the world.

Facts for Life
Facts for Life delivers essential information on how to prevent child and maternal deaths, diseases, injuries and violence.

Reproductive Health and Family Planning

Campaign to End Fistula:
Information-sharing site for partners working in fistula prevention, treatment and social reintegration. Provides a forum for the exchange of technical resources, current and planned research, and new ideas.

Emergency contraception
Emergency contraception uses birth control pills to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex. This website has information in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish, gives brand names of special emergency pills (“Plan B”) for almost every country in the world, and explains how regular birth control pills can be used for emergency contraception.

Facts for Family Planning
Ten easy-to-read chapters give basic information about different methods of family planning. Chapters can be downloaded individually.

Family Care International (FCI)
Publishes Healthy Women, Healthy Mothers, a book on pregnancy and birth for health workers and others who work with women at the community level. Easy to read and well illustrated. Written for Africa, but useful for all communities. In English and French. Available for download only. Also from FCI, manuals in English and French: Strengthen Communication Skills for Women’s Health: A Training Guide; and Getting the Message Out: Designing an Information Campaign on Women’s Health.

Female Genital Cutting Education and Networking Project
Online clearinghouse for material related to female genital mutilation that also serves as a community for researchers, activists, attorneys, and health care practitioners involved in FGM-related projects.

A smartphone app for using the Counting Days Method (Standard Days Method) of family planning with an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Android phone.

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
IPPF promotes and supports family planning activities worldwide. They also publish information on all aspects of family planning. IPPF has offices around the world.

Works to prevent death and injury from unsafe abortion through training, research and advocacy aimed at ensuring safe abortion services. Ipas has offices in many countries around the world. Contact them for information or to find a local office.

Marie Stopes International
Provides information and services for sexual health to people around the world. Contact them to find a local office.

Creates simple health care tools that are affordable and easy to use, and helps to improve local health systems around the world. Tools include simple test kits for HIV and other STIs and illnesses, easy-to-use scales, delivery kits, and syringes that can be used only one time.

Pathfinder International
Works with local governments and organizations to make family planning and women’s health services available by giving training and helping to create health care systems.

Planned Parenthood
This US-based website has in-depth, easy-to-understand information about all methods of family planning.

Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)
Networking with women’s groups around the world; collecting and sharing information; quarterly newsletter; international campaigns; monitoring research in reproductive health.

Women on Web
Online community of women, organizations, and others dedicated to helping women around the world gain access to safe abortion services to protect women’s lives and health.

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)
A global network of NGOs and individuals whose common goal is to promote, support and protect breastfeeding. Contact WABA for local groups that can help.


It’s All One Curriculum
Guidelines and activities for working with young women and men on sexuality, gender, HIV and human rights education. The 2-book set supports educators and is adaptable to diverse settings.

The Pleasure Project
An educational, advocacy, and research program that promotes safer sex that feels good.

Positively Informed, by Andrea Irvin
A sex-education planning kit produced by the International Women’s Health Coalition, suitable for classrooms of people ranging from 10 to 19 years of age. Easily adaptable, creative and interactive lessons on topics such as gender issues, sexual health, stigma, and sexuality.


Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Transformation: The Group Education Manual
A manual for working with men to question non-equitable views about masculinity and prevent unhealthy behaviors that put men and their partners and families at risk. Activities for use with men of all ages and groups of both men and women, and easily adaptable.

Engender Health
The Men as Partners (MAP) Initiative has a training resource for engaging men on issues related to gender and reproductive health, to prevent HIV infection and gender-based violence.

See also the MenEngage Global Alliance, which encourages men and boys to participate in gender equality and violence prevention.

Based in Brazil, this group promotes caring, non-violent and equitable masculinities and gender relations internationally. Publications for youth (ages 15 to 24) support group work on gender identity, relationships, sexuality, reproductive health, parenthood, HIV and other topics. Available in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. See:
Program H Manual: Working with Young Men
Program M Manual: Working with Young Women

ISOFI Toolkit: Inner Spaces Outer Faces Initiative
Activities for learning about gender and sexuality, which can be modified for use in a particular setting. Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc. (CARE)

Women at the Center
A resource to help someone decide if local maternal health services are woman centered, rights-based, and integrated into other services.

Youth Friendly Services Training Manual
A training guide for health care providers on delivering optimal care to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Persons Ministry of Health, Guyana


Raising Voices
Publishes training manuals on prevention of domestic violence. Could be adapted for any community: Rethinking Domestic Violence: A Training Process for Community Activists; Mobilising Communities to Prevent Domestic Violence.

Girls’ Globe
This network of ‘bloggers’ from around the world raises awareness about global issues concerning the rights, health, and empowerment of women and girls, including preventing violence, child marriage, and HIV.

Hot Peaches
An international directory in 110 languages of domestic violence and abuse hotlines, shelters, safe houses, crisis centers and women’s organizations.

Sonke Gender Justice Campaign’s One Man Can Toolkit
Fact sheets and action ideas available for download in English, French, and Xhosa, to help men and boys take action to end domestic and sexual violence and that promote healthy equitable relationships both men and women can enjoy.

A global activist movement to end violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery. V-Day promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and lift the spirit of anti-violence activists and organizations.

White Ribbon Campaign
A global movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, and promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.

Project planning, training and evaluation

ARROW (Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women)
Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ARROW produces practical, actionoriented resource materials and encourages publication exchange with other organizations. ARROW for Change (AFC), published in English twice a year, focuses on issues related to health, sexuality and rights.
Email: [email protected]

AWID: Association for Women’s Rights in Development
AWID is an international organization committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women’s human rights. Their website has up-todate information about actions around the world that affect women.

Counting our Victories: A Training Guide on Popular Education and Organizing, by Denise Nadeau
To help community-based groups build their organizations, strengthen their own organizing ideas and work in cooperation with other groups. Adaptable to meet local needs.
Repeal the Deal Productions: Media Resources for Mobilization, Canada, 1996

Setting Up Community Health Programmes, by Ted Lankester
Hesperian Health Guides
A detailed, simply written how-to manual that covers all the basic principles of community-based health care, program planning and evaluation, setting up specific health programs, and managing personnel and finances to best effect.
Email: [email protected]

HelpAge International
Free journals 2 times a year. Has a network of over 50 organizations worldwide, working to improve the quality of life for older persons.
Email: [email protected]

Mobility International USA (MIUSA)
MIUSA is a disability-led non-profit organization working to advance the rights of people with disabilities globally. Activities include international exchange programs for leadership training for women with disabilities.

Reproductive Health Matters
An international journal published in English and 7 other languages with information about sexual and reproductive health and rights, and distributed free to organizations in developing countries. The website lists organizations around the world working toward equitable access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.
For other languages, see: [www.rhmjournal.org.uk/translation/ www.rhmjournal.org.uk/translation/]

Teaching-aids at Low Cost
Books, videos, teaching materials, and simple health tools, at low or no cost.
Email: [email protected]

Training for Transformation, by Anne Hope and Sally Timmel
Hesperian Health Guides
A 4-part guide for education and community development workers, with activities and information to help groups find the root causes of problems. Ideal for adult education, social workers, community organizers, churches, trade unions, and all those concerned with creating social justice.
Email: [email protected]

Other women’s health resources

Boston Women’s Health Book Collective
Publishers of the classic book Our Bodies, Ourselves which provides complete information on women’s health. Has been adapted into more than 20 languages.

Global Fund for Women
Gives small grants to community-based women’s groups, especially those working on controversial issues and in difficult conditions. Areas of special interest are human rights, communications technology, and economic independence. Contact them for grant request information.

HelpAge International
Free journals printed 2 times a year. HelpAge has a network of over 50 organizations worldwide, working to achieve a lasting improvement in the quality of life for older persons.

ISIS International
Works with women’s groups around the world. Publications, technical assistance and training in communication skills and management.

Mama Cash
The oldest grant-making women’s fund in the world. Gives grants to women’s groups around the world, especially those working in difficult situations and that are led by women and girls. Supports the promotion of women and girl’s rights, as well as the human rights movements of transgender people.