Women and their bodiesIn spite of Israel’s high standards of health care technology, the health status of Israeli women’s health is relatively poor: For example, international comparisons show that the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, as well as the risk of breast cancer in Israeli women is high, and the trend is increasing. Despite the fact that Israel is the world’s record holder regarding use of assisted reproductive technologies, there is a serious lack of information available to allow freedom regarding reproductive choices.

Surprisingly, we see that many women’s experience with the medical practitioners is of lack of cooperation or explanation, as part of patronizing and devaluating attitudes. The Israeli health care system addresses mainly physical illness and high-risk aspects of women’s health, while the concept of wellbeing and informed use of the medical options is lacking. There is limited accessibility of Israeli women, Jewish and Arab, to information necessary for the promotion of their health.

Founded in 2005, Women and Their Bodies (WTB) is a unique women’s NGO working to promote comprehensive social change in the health attitudes of Jewish and Arab-Palestinian women who reside in Israel. WTB is a member of the “Our Bodies Ourselves” (OBOS) international network of women’s health organizations, focusing on all aspects of women’s health in areas of conflict, with particular focus on sexual and reproductive health rights.