For the first time ever in Nepal, an exclusive training for female masons on earthquake resilient construction techniques was organised from 10 to 14 September 2012 in Kathmandu. Masons are a crucial aspect for ensuring compliance with building codes and reducing vulnerability to earthquakes. In an industry traditionally dominated by men, this innovative training programme became the first to focus and build capacity of women and recognises their contribution to safe construction in Nepal.
Organised by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and supported by the UNDP Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management programme, the objective of the training was to add value to the skills of practicing masons by raising awareness and developing capacity of female masons in earthquake resilient construction.
Facilitated by the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), a total of 30 women from different castes and districts participated in the training, which included theoretical and in-depth practical sessions. Participants included women who were working as masons to support their ambitions for higher education.
Tula Maya Sunuwar (Rai), a participant of the training, expressed her appreciation and encouragement of the masons training. For Tula, working as a mason is supporting her commitment to obtaining a higher education. According to Tula, while some people may belittle her work as a mason, she is proud and empowered with the work she is doing.
With this training, Tula and all the participants were given a certificate that acknowledges their contribution to this industry and their role in ensuring earthquake safe construction.