History of Women Build

History of the Women Build program


A group of women in Charlotte, North Carolina, completes the first women-built Habitat for Humanity house. With this event, the seeds for Habitat’s Women Build program are planted. A handful of Habitat affiliates continue to build houses with women crews.


As part of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, U.S. first lady Hillary Clinton, Kentucky first lady Libby Jones and Oklahoma first lady Cathy Keating participate in a Women Build. The idea for Habitat’s First Ladies Build is born.


Habitat for Humanity International forms the Women Build department as it becomes an official program.


The Women Build department hosts the First Ladies Build. Women governors and first ladies from all 50 states join Habitat to build houses with families in need.


Lowe’s signs on as Women Build’s underwriter. Home Interiors and Gifts, Inc. becomes a major sponsor of Women Build. Since 2003, the program has more than doubled in size.


Women Build’s First Families Building Homes Across America unites women volunteers with governors’ spouses and local and statewide leaders to construct Habitat homes in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Fifty-two homes are built throughout the country.


Lowe’s sponsors National Women Build Week, held in the days leading up to Mother’s Day. In the inaugural year, about 6,000 women volunteers participated at more than 150 Habitat affiliates across the United States.


Lowe’s commits $1 million each year to National Women Build Week, which expands and gains momentum. By 2018, a record of more than 130,000 volunteers impacts more than 5,000 individuals in combined annual national and international events.


Chico’s FAS, Inc. and its family of brands announce a new partnership with Habitat, including sponsorship of Habitat’s 2018 Women Build program.


The program continues to grow across international borders, empowering women everywhere to address housing issues for themselves, their families and their neighbors. In partnership with Lowe’s, Habitat’s Women Build Week is created as an annual weeklong event starting on International Women’s Day.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Habitat goes virtual for International Women Build Week 2021. More than 300 Habitat locations in the U.S., Canada and India organize ways for volunteers to get involved virtually to support our mission to raise awareness of the challenges women face in accessing safe, affordable housing. 

Women Build

Since 1991, Women Build volunteers from all walks of life have come together to build stronger, safer communities.

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The power of Women Build

Homeowners Nilda, Christina, Ai, Yessica – and longtime volunteer Teri – reflect on the difference Habitat and homeownership have made in their lives.

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Families who partner with Habitat for Humanity are extremely grateful for your help.