by Elana Hayasaka, My Publications Program Assistant
In many places like rural Nigeria, a book like “Our Bodies, Ourselves” may be limited in its usefulness because of low literacy levels and a lack of access to books. But a local enterprising women’s group found a different way to share the important health information contained in the books with other women — they hop on motorbikes, grab megaphones, and ride from village to village with megaphones blaring.
Last weekend, some of the My staff attended the Women, Action and Media! conference (see the post from last week) and presented a panel on adapting our book into different formats to reach out to different communities and populations of women, such as the villagers in Nigeria. Or slightly closer to home, social networking profiles (like MySpace) and even this blog were created to help spread medical information to younger women who may not turn to a reference book like “Our Bodies, Ourselves” for medical information as readily as their mothers once did.
And speaking of sharing information with other women, a group of filmmakers at the conference also proved how the power of film can reach out, engage, and educate people about health issues in ways a book cannot. These women included:
* Margaret Lazarus, who has created a number of powerful films about domestic violence, including the Oscar winning documentary Defending Our Lives.
* Laurel Greenberg,who discussed her films, including 94 Years and 1 Nursing Home Later, which explores her grandmother’s story and the difficult journey taken by many from caretaker parent to dependent elder.
* Aishah Simmons, who showed clips from her moving film about rape, No!
For read coverage of this year’s WAM! conference, please visit Campus Progress and Feministing (look for posts from March 31-April 1).