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Women at Work

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

If you visit a construction site today, there is a high chance that all the labourers you’ll see are men. During a time of ‘equal opportunities for all’, skilled labour in construction is an industry where the potential of women employment hasn’t reached its capability. Conventionally women took up the role of helpers on sites- but never the tasks of masonry, carpentry, bar-bending, welding or painting. Despite the competitively low daily wage rates of woman labourers, construction sites still tend to be a man’s world.


This woman's day, we set up an exhibit based on this at The Kerala Museum, Pathadipalam, Ernakulam.


We created art on photographs taken at construction sites in Kerala. This was displayed alongside the originals which showed the current scenario.



Amrutha Kishor of Elemental with the exhibit.





The exhibit prompted some good discussions with the viewers on why this is so. The reasons that were brought up included the conventional transfer of knowledge on skilled labour, the belief that some tasks are a man's job and a lack of enthusiasm or opportunity to learn.


The pay gap of women labourers was also highlighted. The reason often stated for this is the difference in productivity. But whether this argument is valid is something we aim to find out as we develop this project further.

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