District Council 35 – Building Bridges 2017: The First U.S. Tradeswomen’s Delegation to India

DC 35/LU 939 member Kathleen Santora (bottom, far left) visited India to learn about their construction industry.

Women make up 2 percent of the construction workforce in the United States, where India’s construction workforce is 50 percent women. Construction is considered a good job in our country, but women are often excluded because they “aren’t strong enough.” In India, safety standards are not sufficient, making construction work a dangerous, undesirable job that falls on women who are excluded from other jobs because they “aren’t smart enough.”

District Council 35/Local Union 939 (Dorchester, Massachusetts) member Kathleen Santora and 17 other U.S. tradeswomen traveled to India on January 14 – 28, 2017, to meet workers, union leaders, policy makers and community advocates. During their visit, they learned about India’s construction industry and helped build the relationships necessary for productive dialogue to help improve the lives of women construction workers around the globe.