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Year: 2008 Type: Report Language: English

The present study explores the topic of empowerment through the experience of women in the Lady Health Workers Programme, a government-run project that employs almost 100,000 women across Pakistan as community health workers. The LHWP directly addresses women’s reproductive health needs by attempting to provide them information, basic services and access to further care if necessary. It is also a major employer of women, and therefore the experiences of LHWs can provide valuable insight into the impact of paid work on their lives and gender relations in their homes and communities. The discussion that follows will begin with some background information on women and paid work in Pakistan, followed by details of the LHWP, and an analysis of selected interviews with LHWs. It will then situate the research findings with respect to conceptualization on empowerment in an effort to contribute to the debate.