"Damned if we do" is an account of the unique network of state-funded feminist women's health centres in Australia. It describes the origins of women's health centres in the renascent women's movement, and discusses the theoretical and political analysis that informed the first centres established in the mid-1970s. The visionary movement for women's health centres has been fraught with difficulties. the major focus of the book is on the structural contradictions that arise when women in the movement translate their commitment to women's health from the personal and ideological level into the institutional format of a health centre, particularly a state-funded centre. "Damned if we do" is based on six years of research into the women's health-centre movement in Australia, including visits to most of the centres currently functioning and interviews with more than 120 women, including workers and former workers, members of management bodies and collectives, and state officials. This is a story of an important women's initiative, and an analysis of some of the conflicts and difficulties experienced.
The women's health movement occupies a critical position between theory and practice, and between the women's movement and the community health movement. The book will be of value to readers interested in contemporary feminism; to students in women's studies, sociology of health, social change, nursing and health sciences, social work and social welfare, and political science; and also to workers in health and welfare. "Dorothy Broom is Senior Lecturer in Women's Studies at the Australian National University. She is the editor of "Unfinished business: social justice for women in Australia" (Allen & Unwin) and co-author of "Sociology: a core text with adapted readings" and "Sociology: a text with adapted readings". She lives in Red Hill, near Canberra.".