- The Women’s Development Army (WDA), an all-female workforce of unpaid Community Health Workers (CHW), is Ethiopia’s answer to improving rural health. Through the WDA, Ethiopia’s government says it is empowering women to spark change in their community by disseminating healthy behaviors and by advocating on their own behalf to health officials. At the same time, they serve at the bottom of a hierarchical health system and are potentially exploited by the government for their unpaid labor. Analysis of 2015 survey data collected from leaders in the WDA in Amhara state, Ethiopia, shows that most women are grateful for the program as it improves their quality of life, but that most feel that their missions are directed by the government and that WDA leaders should be paid for their work. CHW empowerment and exploitation are essential topics of research to sustain and improve health outcomes around the world.