I quite agree with Graham Watts' comments about Ray O'Rourke and the right to free speech in this country (19 May, page 14). At least we know where Mr O'Rourke is coming from and I am sure there are others like him who keep silent.
Mr O'Rourke looks like he might be old enough to remember the Second World War and recollect women driving buses and trucks, rebuilding bomb sites and running factories when the men were away. In 1941, there was compulsory recruitment of women for employment and women worked in shipbuilding, engineering, aircraft manufacturing and munitions.
About 24,000 women worked in the construction industry. Women's lasting contribution to the construction industry, apart from what they built, was better site conditions for all, including health and safety. Women did (and still do) things differently from men but did (and still do ) them equally well. Women's contribution to the building industry has never been properly documented or celebrated, perhaps even deliberately. Let such people stroll along Waterloo bridge (built by women) and look at the wobbling Millennium bridge (designed and built by men) and then decide if building site is no place for a woman.
Sumita Sinha, founder, Architects For Change, former chair of Women In Architecture.