Twenty members of the Zimbabwe Women in Construction Association yesterday graduated with certificates in building technology under the Partners in Building programme.
The Partners in Building programme is part of the Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe's community social responsibility programme that it carries out in partnership with the Msasa Industrial Training College.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony in the Harare yesterday, Lafarge Cement managing director Mr Jonathan Shoniwa said the his company was proud to be associated with programmes meant to improve the quality of the construction industry and to encourage women participation in the area.
"While women have made some gains in occupying positions traditionally occupied by men, construction trades remain overwhelmingly male dominated.
"Therefore with this unique group graduating today, we will see the notable contribution of trained women in construction industry.
"Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe continues to engage in strategies that create value for the society," Mr Shoniwa.
He said the partnership in building programme presented a suitable opportunity for building capacity for qualified individuals to contribute effectively to the economy.
ZIWCA president Mrs Elizabeth Chakudunga said she was overjoyed by the partnership as it helped equip members with skills required by their trade.
"We are overjoyed as an association for the opportunity that has seen our members graduate with certificates in building technology.
"Our graduates comprise of women who are already in the field as well as those just joining the industry. Our oldest graduate, is 65 years old and the youngest is 18 years.
"We are working to empower women so that they can meaningfully contribute to the economy," she said.
ZIWCA is an association of women who are into brick laying, brick making, production of roof tiles and window seals molding whilst others are builders.
She commended the success of the partnership between Lafarge Cement and Msasa Industrial Training College saying it was a clear example of the partnership between government, community and the private sector.