Women get their hands dirty for International Women Builds Week

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Women are strapping on the tool belts for International Women Builds Week.

A group of women measure and cut boards to help build a home in Rapid City. (KEVN)

It's a week-long annual gathering, leading up to International Women's Day on March 8, of women to build homes in the area under the Lowe's and Habitat for Humanity partnership.

About a dozen women tied a new apron on and got to work on building a new house with Black Hills Habitat for Humanity.

Volunteers from Assurant, Synchrony and Black Hills Habitat for Humanity partner families build a house for Michael Torres after attaining 100 volunteer hours.

For some women it was their first time constructing a home but for others it's a skill they've had in their toolbox for awhile.

"All my friends are like you teach us how to do it now right? I'm like I could try," Lacey Piazza, a family partner.

"Its so special because there are many times where I am the only woman on site," said Kimberly Wallace, the Black Hills Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Engagement Associate. "It's designed to learn and empower women. And make them feel like they can do something they wouldn't normally approach or do."

About 6,000 women in Canada, India and in the U.S. are not only tackling affordable housing with International Women Builds Week but are breaking the stigma about boys being better than the girls.

"Yeah that's not true. We're probably better workers, I think."

However, with some guidance from men, the women today helped install drywall.

"Building these walls is not only empowering because for one woman it's a moment of inspiration for her children."

"Yeah, it's amazing. I love the environment or the atmosphere. Being involved with the women build it's more empowering. Plus I have two daughters myself. I talk to them about it. So it's exciting," January Rendon, a family partner, said.

The team will reassemble on Saturday with an overall goal of completing the house by June.