Global non-profit housing organization, Habitat for Humanity, recently hosted its first local Women Build program to mark International Women’s Day celebrations.
The three-day event at Nakorovou village in Rewa province covered theory and hands-on instructions of basic construction methods against the Build Back Safer training program, which promotes effective techniques for stronger, durable homes.
HFH Fiji National Director and architect, Masi Latianara said the program highlighted the contribution of women to their built environment and particularly to homes and communities.
“Consistent with the world population, women make up half of Fiji’s population,” he said.
“Collectively, women spend more hours in a day in or around the house, than any other family member and therefore it makes sense that our daughters and mothers should be a big part of the decision-making process in planning and construction of our homes and communities.”
Latianara added that raising women’s awareness around construction would help break down preconceived barriers and allow them more informed and confident discussions regarding the spatial needs of their families, including repairs, extensions, building safely and construction budgets.
“In our experience, women are just as capable of building a safe, cyclone-resilient house as men are.”
Following the category-5 tropical cyclone Winston that tore through Fiji in February 2016, HFH Fiji has worked with close to 200 female community builders in its shelter rehabilitation efforts.
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