Nancy Miriam Hawley

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Nancy Miriam Hawley until we are able to commission a full entry.

Nancy Miriam Hawley with the Boston Women's Health Book Collective.

Nancy Miriam Hawley helped found the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Inc., the organization responsible for writing the best seller Our Bodies, Ourselves, which empowered women to take control of their own health care. In 1969, Hawley led the first workshop on women and their bodies for a conference at Emmanuel College. The discussion about the lack of information about women’s health and the difficulty of finding doctors who would take women’s concerns seriously led to the publication of Women and Their Bodies, later retitled Our Bodies, Ourselves. The first edition sold 200,000 copies; the book has been translated into at least 26 languages, including Braille, and has sold over 4.5 million copies. The Collective’s work also served as a model for health advocacy, influencing later efforts to approve HIV drugs. Hawley served on the Collective’s board for many years and also worked as a clinical social worker, group therapist, and as the principal clinical social worker for the Cambridge Hospital of Harvard Medical School. She also co-authored Ourselves and Our Children (1978), a book about families and parenting, and You and Your Partner, Inc (2012), a book about integrating work, relationship, and family demands. As of 2023, she is the CEO of Enlignment, Inc., serving as an organizational consultant and coach to business executives. She is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Northeast Society of Group Psychotherapy, Women in Business Connection, and The Family Firm Institute. 


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Nancy Miriam Hawley." (Viewed on April 17, 2024) <>.