One of the pathways of women’s empowerment is participation in workforce. In Bangladesh one of the first areas which saw mass employment of women outside paid work is the family planning and health sector. It is thus important to explore how these women workers have been able to negotiate and challenge gender norms within their families and their communities and have become role models for the younger generation. The purpose of the research was to explore to what extent women health workers have become agents of change in an environment which restricted their movement and opposed their exposure into the public sphere. This study reveals the achievements and challenges that these workers have experienced in the pathway to empowerment. The study also constitutes important lessons for the future. This joint seminar was one of the products of a new collaborative programme that ICDDR,B have undertaken on the areas of gender, health and human rights.