Brazilian architect teaches women with limited resources to build their own homes


For a long time the stereotype that certain professions or trades were only for men or only for women was maintained: they had to dedicate themselves to tasks that involved intelligence and strength, while we had to dedicate ourselves to the home. Things have changed and there is more openness for women to perform at work they want and bring the bread to the table and put a roof over their heads. However, for poor women things are not so easy.

The Brazilian architect Carina Guedes was aware of this difficulty and in 2014 she founded the project Architecture in the Periphery, which offers low-income women training to build their own homes, minimizing the cost.

In the favelas, the father, the husband or the mason make the decisions about the home even though it is the women who spend more time in it and it is they who have to face the deficiencies: spaces without lighting, without ventilation, narrow and poorly distributed.

The course lasts from four to six months and in it they learn blueprint design, financial principles, purchase of material, hiring of labor, masonry, hydraulics, settlement of floor and electricity. But in addition to the knowledge they acquire, for Carina the most notorious thing is that they become independent, strong and capable women.

It is interesting to see the transformation of them during this process: community leaders already recognized in that space of struggle, but not in the domestic one, they come to see that they have the same capacity, but that they only lack access to information.

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