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‘Women community health workers were pioneers in bringing rural women to outside formal paid work and breaking conservative norms and female seclusion’, said Simeen Mahmud, lead researcher, at a research findings seminar held for this quantitative study in Dhaka in May 2010.

The seminar was jointly organised by BRAC Development Institute (BDI) and ICDDR,B an international institute involved in health and population research. The event received coverage in various local newspapers: The Daily Star, The Daily Independent, Daily News Today, The Bangladesh Observer and Prothom Alo.

The seminar was organised to share the findings of the research on women community health workers which explore how the workers have been instrumental in bringing social change in their communities. This research was conducted by Simeen Mahmud and Maheen Sultan under the Empowering Work theme of the Pathways Programme.

Simeen went on to say that the women health workers had found that their job had enhanced their status in society, helped them find better life partners, enhanced family economic conditions, instilled self-esteem and confidence and gave them more power in family decision making.

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