Nancy Miriam Hawley

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; to date, the book has been translated into 26 languages, including Braille, and has sold 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. As of 2014, she serves as an organizational consultant and coach to business executives.


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

Founder, Psychologist, Writer

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Nancy Miriam Hawley." (Viewed on March 3, 2021) <>.


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