The Guardian recently published a story about Build Health International’s construction team in Kono, Sierra Leone. Made up of over 60% women from the local community, the team building the Maternal Center of Excellence, a facility that will improve access to maternal and child health in a region with one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world.
The state-of-the-art facility will bring huge improvements to care in the country but it is also challenging gender roles in the construction industry
In Kono District, in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone, where diamond-rich earth was once exploited to fund a decade-long civil war, a new legacy is being built in its capital, Koidu.
Behind a steel fence, the rooms of a new maternity centre, the Maternal Center of Excellence, are emerging – and about 60% of those wearing hard hats on site are women. Most are working in construction for the first time and are conscious they are helping to build the region’s future. “It is for us, the women who will give birth here. That’s why we are putting in effort to build the hospital,” says Hawa Baryoh, 21, who works in quality control. “That is why you see plenty of women here,” she says proudly.