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Anowara



Anowara lives in rural Bangladesh, 360km from the capital, Dhaka. Her story highlights the many hardships faced by disadvantaged women in this country. Orphaned at the age of 9, forced to support herself as a child labourer, a survivor of assault and domestic violence, by the time she was 20 Anowara was divorced, marginalized and struggling to find regular work as a day labourer or domestic staff in order to feed herself and her baby daughter. SWAPNO, the SDG Fund led joint programme in Bangladesh, aims to help women support themselves through employment opportunities, human capital development, empowerment, financial inclusion and vocational training, particularly targeting women who are widowed, divorced or whose husbands have a disability. “SWAPNO has helped me escape my frustration and build a dignified life for me and my daughter,” Anowara says, having begun employment in the public works sector in August 2015 thanks to the programme. The money she has saved from her wages means she now has livestock and plans to buy a parcel of land. She has been able to open a bank account, has the security of steady employment and has received information about her rights and how to access government services available to her. Thanks to SWAPNO she has been able to take control of her life and improve the outlook for her future and that of her daughter.