Women in Haiti
Women in Haiti
Women in Haiti are strong and beautiful, yet they have endured countless injustices throughout Haiti's history.
Women are the backbone of the Haitian economy. Known as the "machann", market women create a semblance of stability in a sea of turmoil and fragility.
Haiti is largely known for its long-standing history of political unrest, natural disasters and extreme poverty. Due to these inescapable realities, women and girls have been the recipients of some of the most tragic and horrific injustices.
Haitian women are often prohibited from exercising their basic rights due to predominant social beliefs that they are inferior to men as well as historical pattern of gender-based discrimination and violence. Discrimination against women is a structural feature of Haitian society and culture that has subsisted throughout its history, in both in times of peace and unrest.*
Women in Haiti live with threats to their security and well-being because of widespread rape, kid-napping and human trafficking. Women suffer the most from Haiti's chronic political instability. Being raped is considered shameful in Haitian society, and victims may find themselves abandoned by loved ones or rejected by potential suitors. Until 2005, rape was not legally considered a serious crime and a rapist could avoid jail by marrying his victim. Reporting a rape to police in Haiti is a difficult and convoluted process, a factor that contributes to underreporting and difficulty in obtaining accurate statistics about sexual violence. **
Young women in Haiti have the potential to be the most active and influential players of change within their nation. They will birth the next generation and the values and impact they have on their children have the ability to alter the course of the entire country. Hence why we must actively fight to empower and free them.***
Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)on “The Right of Women in Haiti to be Free from Violence and Discrimination.” OEA/Ser.L/V/II, Doc. 64, 10 March 2009.
"Haiti's Rape Survivors". Irinnews.org. 2011-11-02. Retrieved21 February 2013.