On 13 October around 300 women from different construction trades in the Phillipines and the USA attend the second Manila Tradeswomen Conference, embodying the Conference slogan ‘Dare to be Different!’ The conference was more than just an opportunity to share experiences and promote women in the construction industry, but was also an opportunity to share construction tools to ensure women construction workers in the Philippines have both the necessary training and equipment to gain decent work in the construction industry.
“We are very glad that we able to come back here, bringing more tools and again sharing experiences on the employment challenges in the construction industry”, said Melina Harris, President of the US Sisters in the Building Trades.“ These tools are a starting point for these amazing and skilled Filipino women workers to engaged on putting up trade guild associations or cooperatives as their means for livelihood.”
The conference was organised by the US Sisters in the Building Trades, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), BWI and the National Union of Building and Construction Workers. Among other things, the TESDA Women Centre has focused on ensuring female construction workers are equipped for the challenges women face working a male-dominated construction industry.
“Our immediate plan is to consolidate and expand the All Women Construction Workers Association (AWCI) and registered it as Trade Guild with Philippines Construction Accreditation Board under the Department of Trade and Industry. In that way we provide job opportunities for our members with decent work conditions and attract more membership,” said Jane Vargas, AWCA organiser.