Supporting women working in the construction industry in Nepal

Tuesday 25 June 2019, Ben Walker

Conceived in 1999 as a comprehensive poverty alleviation programme, the UK Aid-funded Rural Access Programme (RAP) uses the construction of transport infrastructure as an entry point for improving the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people in remote areas of Nepal – communities with limited access to goods and social services.

After initial design and implementation, RAP (now in its third stage) is involved in the construction of roads using labour-intensive, environmentally sound and climate resilient methods; alongside complementary socio-economic interventions. Besides the clear benefits of improved access, RAP has also generated significant employment in rural areas, especially for women.

The Nepali Times has featured the UK Aid-funded Rural Access Programme (RAP3) in a recent article detailing our most recent accomplishments on the programme, especially our work with women.


Quote graphic: "We women were confined to the kitchen, but this road has given us the chance to come out and earn an income" - Ramkala Baduwa (to the Nepali Times) Quote graphic: "“I had never even dreamed that a road would reach my home, but now it is actually happening. And the villagers got employment too” - Krishna Bahdur Buda, Baam (to the Nepali Times)

Quick facts

  • The total length of the Mugu-Humla Link Road (MHLR) is 67km, of which 4km is improvement of existing road and 63km is new construction.
  • Construction on the MHLR has lead to the first  ever four-wheel drive vehicle being driven into Humla from the Nepali side. 
  • Current female participation in the programme is 42%
  • The district daily wage in the Mugu region is Nrs630 (£4.45)

Learn more about our work on RAP3 on the programme site and through our interactive story site.  

For more on women in engineering (to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, June 23) read our interview with our Environment and Social Safeguarding Lead, Samina Khan. 

Cover image: Female construction workers in the Mugu district on road section approaching Kacche. (Ben Walker)

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