Women are the most oppressed class in a male dominated society in Bangladesh. Women are mostly confined to household activities where they work for long hours which are essential in a subsistence economy and yet their work is neither recognized nor rewarded. They have little hold over family resources and decision making. Opportunities for paid work are few and often exploited as cheap labour.
Women living in rural areas are much more oppressed by religious fundamentalists than women living in urban areas. They do not have the fundamental rights to consult a doctor as it was not a social norm for women to go to male doctors. GK noticed it and the issue became the primary driving force in deciding to train women health workers so that they could provide health care services in the rural areas.
GK started Paramedics (health workers) training as early as1972 and the paramedics were given Bicycle to go to the nooks and corners of the villages to deliver primary health care services. GK always gives assistance to destitute women, women with broken marriages, physically handicapped women and so on. When they come to Nari Kendra, they are first taught basic literacy and numeracy by GK School, regardless of age. Later, they are given special skills and training. GK has provided employment opportunities for women, inspired them to have confidence and courage and established them as self-reliant and dignified professionals in a male-dominated, fundamentalist society.
In 1974, a group of women health workers rode bicycles from the GK campus at Savar to the Shaheed Miner (national martyr shrine) 40 km far away located in Dhaka city. That day the health workers worked together to break a major social barrier. They became confident in establishing their own rights through action, without compromising their traditional culture.