Welcome to Women’s Health In Women’s Hands

We’ve been online for over 10 years; our website has a long-established history as a hub for education and resources relevant to women’s health, particularly reproductive health and rights and self-help. You'll be introduced to our work with many feminists and women’s health groups as well as independent research on women’s health. Prepare to be excited, informed and challenged.

The Women’s Health In Women’s Hands vision:

Women’s Health in Women’s Hands is dedicated to a world where every aspect of healthcare that impacts female bodies, especially reproduction and sexuality, is under the collective and individual control of each body’s owner through feminist-controlled health care institutions.

Use these three simple steps to get to know us & let us get to know you

Step 1: Get to know who we are

We are feminists.

Carol Downer is the visionary behind WHWH and began her activist career in the movement for civil rights and local politics in California during the 1960s. She became active in the women's liberation movement in 1969.

The Women’s Self Help Movement: Carol Downer’s cervix starts a nationwide movement.

In 1969, small women’s health groups started up around the country at the local free clinic, many of the women, including Carol, wrote books on women’s health and did research to expose dangerous methods of birth control.

At one meeting, Carol used a speculum, mirror and flashlight to show her cervix and Self Help was started. The Los Angeles group introduced Self-Help to hundreds of women at the National NOW conference in Marina del Rey. These women invited Lorraine Rothman and Carol Downer to come to their communities, and several self-help groups were organized at each stop all over the country. These Self-Help groups and over the years, hundreds more, provided a place where women could see their cervices, talk about their reproductive health care, and learn from each other's health experiences.

Women have used Self Help developed by Carol and her co founders to set up health projects around the world.

You can read more about Carol, the movement and her co founders on our About, and Our History pages.

WHWH intention:

  • To educate on how to perform vaginal self-examination and deal with everyday health problems experienced by females.
  • To share the collectively-gained knowledge about female reproduction and sexuality by feminist health activists today and from the last five decades to today.
  • To present political analyses of societal forces that oppress females, and to put forth strategies and tactics to overcome these sexist forces.
  • To inspire, connect and support females everywhere to form self-help groups to learn about their bodies.
  • To equip females with knowledge and networking resources to start health projects, such as health clinics, research studies, programs, conferences and media outreach programs aimed at changing sexist medical practices.

Step 2: Be part of the community

The WHWH website has a vast amount of information for you so we have a number of ways for you to connect with us to stay up to date with what’s happening.

First, subscribe to our email. We send occasional emails about important topics concerning us all.


Send us a note any time, introduce yourself and tell us about you and what you’re involved with. We love hearing from you. We try to answer every email within a few days, please be patient, we’re a small team and we try to get back to you as quickly as we can.


Step 3: Get Involved

Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights are under attack. Get involved with Self Help and the Women’s Health Movement. Share our site, and the people and organizations we share with you on your own social networks, in your meetings and with one another.

We’d love for you to support out work by becoming one of our valued Patrons over on Patreon where it’s easier than ever to help and be involved.


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