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close this book Daughters of Sysiphus
close this folder The building process
View the document Building a house
View the document Investing in improvements
View the document The stories behind the figures
View the document Vulnerability to natural hazards
View the document Recommendations


1. Information concerning hazard-mitigation techniques that people. and women in particular. can use on their own houses should be made widely available in forms that are comprehensible and attractive to the people whose housing is most vulnerable. An example of such material is the booklet on Hurricanes and Housing put out by the Construction Resource and Development Centre and the video film Strapless Today, Topless Tomorrow which was produced by the same agency.

2. A handbook on basic building techniques used in the informal sector with hints on how houses can be built more safely using recycled materials and so on should be produced using examples and illustrations of women participating in the building process as they do in reality. All too often women are absent from manuals, posters and handbooks focusing on building processes.

3. Training programmes that support the entry of women into the construction trades should be strongly supported. Training should not necessarily be targeted at heads of households. Their daughters might well prove more able to take advantage of the training. Programmes providing construction skills training for men should be made open to women on an equitable basis.

4. Low-income shelter development projects that incorporate a large labour component should be designed in such a way that female labour can be absorbed as well as that of men. If possible, such projects should contain a training component.

5. When credit is extended for self-built housing projects. provision should be made for credit that covers the cost of labour that women without construction skills will require. Monitoring of this labour is also suggested in order to prevent exploitation by unscrupulous contractors.