For the past years, Bolivia has undergone a growing demand in the real estate business, with the subsequent need for manual labor as construction workers. As a result, women have entered this field of work and have become increasingly involved in the construction industry. Although it has been a trade traditionally performed by men, in La Paz, women represent one third of the construction working force.

Women builders perform all types of activities: shoveling, removing debris, preparing cement, cleaning ditches and carrying materials. Construction is a trade of high physical demand that offers no respite. The age range of women builders goes from 30 to 66 years. Despite the hardship on the body, these ladies do not give up nor seem to be threatened by physical pain and discomfort, nor the weather. They have to work to support their families and they do.

In construction, women are discriminated as weaker and commonly regarded as unable to perform the same tasks as men. Although they are physically not as strong as men, women derive their strength from their spirit, their souls. They are driven by an inner fortitude that does not measure to the strength needed to carry a bag of cement.

Bolivian women builders are women that carry on and rebuild themselves. They give their best because of their children, who are the motivation and the source of strength they need to perform such hard work. It is that strength that helps them to keep going, to train themselves for better job opportunities and to overcome life hardships. As sole supporters of the family structure, their job becomes their main recourse to get their children ahead in life.

This photo series depicts only one chapter of the lives of these women: their work. This is my tribute to them.

They are making history in Bolivian society: women that face life with resilience, in a male world, with determination and a clear objective: to place all their effort in the betterment of their families and the status of women in their homeland. 

Sofia Bensadon is an argentine photographer and student of anthropology, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Mujeres Constructoras was presented during Slideluck Montevideo & Buenos Aires III.


a. What program was used to create the multimedia?
Adobe Photoshop and Premiere.


b. How and why did you choose that sound/music?
A friend recommended it to me. I think it is very important to find the right music that suits the slideshow perfectly, in order to create the mood and atmosphere that you want to bring to your story.


c. Tell us about the editing process when you think of a multimedia. 

This is the first multimedia I have ever made. It is a platform that I have never used before. I tried to synchronize the music with the images, and also added a little video at the beginning and the end, to prevent from interrupting the sliding of the images.

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Sofia Bensadon | Mujeres Constructoras