The need for young women to defy the status quo and venture into the building and construction sector took centre stage at a stakeholder’s dialogue in Accra.
The discussants were drawn from schools, non-governmental agencies, the public service, civil society organisations and stakeholders within the construction industry.
The dialogue was on the theme: “Up increasing female participation in the building construction sector: crossing the unseen barriers.”
The Executive Director of the Network of Women in Growth Ghana (NEWIG), organisers of the dialogue, Mawulawoe Awity, noted that a deliberate effort was needed to break the stereotype, which would translate into financially empowering women.
“Women participation in male-dominated spaces specifically in construction would help reduce poverty among women, promote gender equality and women empowerment.
“Everything starts from the mind, there is nothing too difficult to do, all you need to do is put your mind to it,” she said.
Ms Awity noted that just like in every field, stigmatisation of women in construction was not an exception.
“When you look at the working gears, boots, the overalls, its obvious women were not considered. Apart from that, you often get women asked if they could do it, people doubt that a woman can be a surveyor.”
“But just tell yourself, you can do it, prove them wrong and forge ahead,” she urged young women.
Ms Awity also added that men should not see women venturing into the sector as competition, but rather as partners.
One of the discussants, Edinam Adjei-Sika, an Institutional Relations Manager, also stated that there were opportunities for women in the construction sector.
“As for the opportunities, they are there but it is how you go about it. You need to find your feet.”
“See it as an entrepreneurship activity, just like being self-employed and mastering the craft. Only then can you become an expert,” she said
For his part, the Executive Director of Rumel Development Company Limited, Samuel Amegayibor, who was one of the speakers, added that construction was a sustainable field especially for women.
“You know for women; you can pay attention to details and this is a vital attribute needed to strive in the construction field.”
“So, it is if you do it well. You also don’t necessarily need to work for anyone, you can do something on your own.”
“Lastly, do not rely on one strength, invest and upgrade,” he advised women.