History – Fundraising – Events
What is Women Build?
Habitat’s Women Build participants come together from all walks of life to build stronger, safer communities. Women and children make up the majority of people populating Habitat neighborhoods, as they are the most likely to be affected by poor living conditions. Women Build program recruits, educates, and encourages women to build and advocate for decent and affordable houses in their communities.
History of Women Build:
1991 A group of women in Charlotte, N.C., complete the first women-built Habitat for Humanity house. With this event, the seeds for Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program are planted. A handful of Habitat for Humanity affiliates continue to build houses with women crews.
1997 As part of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, U.S. first lady Hillary Clinton, Kentucky first lady Libby Jones and Oklahoma first lady Cathy Keating participate in a Women Build. The idea for Habitat’s First Ladies Build is born.
1998 Habitat for Humanity International forms the Women Build department and the Women Build program becomes an official HFHI initiative.
1999–2001 The Women Build department hosts the First Ladies Build. Women governors and first ladies from all 50 states join Habitat for Humanity to build houses with families in need.
2006–2007 Women Build’s “First Families Building Homes Across America” unites women volunteers with governors’ spouses, local and statewide leaders to construct Habitat homes in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Fifty-two homes are built throughout the country.
2008–2018 Women Build events are held during National Women Build Week in the days leading up to Mother’s Day. In the inaugural year, about 6,000 women volunteers participate at more than 150 Habitat affiliates across the United States. National Women Build Week expands and gains momentum and by 2018, a record of more than 130,000 volunteers impact more than 5,000 in combined annual national events.
2019–2021 The program continued to grow across international borders, empowering women everywhere to address poverty housing for themselves, their families and their neighbors. Habitat for Humanity’s International Women Build Week was created as an annual weeklong event starting on International Women’s Day.
Why is it important?
Women make up 50 percent of Habitat for Humanity International’s volunteer force; yet often because of lack of training, they account for less than 15 percent of workers on the construction site. The Women Build program was established to encourage the involvement of women in the construction of Habitat homes.
In the U.S., 1 in 6 households pay half or more of their income on their home. Women are disproportionately affected by this severe cost-burden and make up a larger share of U.S. households living in poverty and as well as receiving government-subsidized housing. At Habitat for Humanity we know that safe, affordable housing means that individuals and families have the opportunity to thrive. However, women face challenges that make it more difficult to access this basic need.
These challenges include:
- Higher Rates of Poverty for Female Heads of Households: Fifteen percent of adult women lived in poverty in 2017 and make up 66% of the low-wage workforce. More than 3 out of 4 single parent families are headed by a female. 30.6 percent of female-headed households with children are below the poverty level. Sixty percent of children in poverty lived in households headed by women.
- Housing Discrimination: Minorities, women, and low- and moderate-income borrowers across the United States of America continue to receive a disproportionate amount of high cost loans.
- The Wage Gap: Women still earn, on average, 80 percent of what the average male earns. This challenge is even greater for black and Hispanic women.
Women Build brings women together to confront these challenges by building homes for other women, alongside the future homeowners. Women building, investing and advocating for simple, decent and affordable housing around the world to help families build strength, stability and independence.
We need you! Your support and participation make a difference
Locally, hundreds of women will come together to act against unaffordable housing through fundraising and volunteerism to create a lasting impact in our community.
- It’s more than just building a home; it’s building a better future and a strong foundation for a family in our community.
- Women, especially those who serve as head of the families and women of color, disproportionately face obstacles that make accessing decent, affordable housing seem impossible.
- At Fox Valley Habitat, we know that stable housing is transformative for women and their families.
- When families have a safe, decent place to call home, they are more likely to be healthier, attain higher levels of education, and build more wealth.
- Through sponsorships and fundraising, we will come together to raise funds and construct a home for a family in need.
Your support in our mission to raise awareness of the challenge’s women face in accessing safe, affordable housing can change the life of a family forever through homeownership.
Women Build Events & Fundraisers
Support Women Build by purchasing one of our bright & inspiring shirts! Proceeds for the shirt go to our Women Build Program to further the mission.
Women Build Home Groundbreaking
Join us March 23, 2024 as we celebrate the groundbreaking for the first Women Build home in our Habitat Green Freedom subdivision. Meet the future family of this home, as well as other future homeowners, volunteers, and partners that we are working with for this community. You just never know who might show up to a groundbreaking!