Excerpts from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) :
“Women on motor scooters!” Jill Umbach of CARE Canada marvels in her first visit for the Rural Maintenance Program in Bangladesh. “That’s how our field workers travelled from site to site. It was a huge break from tradition,” she continues.
CARE Canada began its program to help rural widows, the poorest of the poor, to earn a living. Their job was to upgrade the earthen farm-to-market roads that form a lifeline for the small producers and traders throughout the country. Working outside the home, in a public place like a road, was unheard of in a country where women were traditionally secluded. In the early days of the program, some of the more conservative members of the community were against it, and tried to discourage the participants. But the women had to survive, and they persisted. Continue reading