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Kenya: Government to involve women in construction of affordable housing

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The government will involve women in construction of affordable housing in all the 47 counties across the country.

This was announced by the permanent sectary in the ministry of housing and Urban development Charles Hinga,in his speech read by Lilian Kieni, Deputy Director (SDHUD)  during the  , 7th Annual Women in Real Estate (WIRE ) Kenya  Legends & Leaders Awards held on Friday in Nairobi.

SDHUD is working in collaboration with WIRE, National Housing Corporation, and National Construction Authority to set up a framework to monitor and evaluate (SDHUD) 

“I’m pleased to inform you that the developer, GulfCap Real Estate has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with your member, BuildHer, to include Women fundis in the painting, tiling, and joinery works among other areas in the project.

The Developer also signed an MoU with Jua Kali artisans who will supply windows and doors among other materials for the project “Said Hinga

“We have charted a path for the women artisans to utilize their skills and earn a living through work in the affordable housing projects. We are not overlooking the importance to also expand representation of the professional women.

People who work in non-formal, informal and formal sectors gain knowledge, skills, expertise, and attributes through practice.  Consequently, all people should have the opportunity for the recognition of their acquired knowledge and skills as well” added the PS.

According to WIRE women representation in the built environment survey report which was launched on Friday an average 6% architects are women; 3% engineers; 22% planners; quantity surveyors 10%; and the representation is even lower for women owned firms doing this professional work.

WIRE President who spoke during the event Robyn T. Emerson threw weight on need to emphasize the value of gender inclusion in the sector.

 “Engagements with the State Department of Housing and Urban Development garnered commitment that affirmative action would be taken to ensure women in real estate/construction/built environment would economically benefit from participating in the Affordable Housing projects.

In addition to WIRE Members being invited to the groundbreaking and structures being developed for women artisans to work on government sites, WIRE sought the establishment of a framework for monitoring and evaluation of women’s participation in the delivery of ongoing affordable housing projects.

 Unfortunately, WIRE still has a need for advocating that woman are fully included in the development of Kenya,” said Robinson Emerson

The event’s theme was in line with the International Women’s Day – ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’.

Chief guest Hon. Farida Karoney, Former Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Lands & Physical planning, in her keynote address recognized the contribution and importance of technology as an enabler to gain equality.

“The digitization of land records that was unveiled while I was in office will go a long way in eliminating land grabbing. It seeks to promote transparency, equity non-discrimination and protect the rights and responsibilities of property owners,” said Ms. Karoney.

The annual report that was launched gives fact driven insights into the state of gender inclusion in the built industry’s professional and artisan associations, institutions of academia and vocational training. In 2019, the number of female members in ACMK was 13.7%, and that gradually increased to 26%. BORAQS registered a decrease in the number of female architects and quantity surveyors, moving from 11.8% to 8% and 17% to 10% respectively.

NCA indicated female artisans were 2.87%. However, Buildher – Kenya’s first and only technical training facility for construction artisans that exclusively trains women and actively promotes gender inclusivity in the sector held the first Women fundis in Construction Conference with  266 woman artisans in attendance.

A handful of organizations in the built environment have a gender inclusion strategy committing to ensure equality in the professional building Kenya.

The report is emphatic on the value of encouraging gender inclusiveness in the workplace and the necessity of gender diversity in leadership.

Source: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

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