The Crisis That Haitian Women Are Facing in Haiti Today

By Anonymous on Monday, January 23, 2006.
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With a climate of growing insecurity and increasing violence in Haiti today, women are facing insurmountable challenges. In Haiti, women are looked upon as a form of social protection or glue for their family. In fact, they support a large majority of Haiti’s economic activities in the non-formal sector which makes up 75% of Haiti’s economy.

Unfortunately, in recent months, Haitian women have encountered daunting problems and the current situation of women highly resembles the era of 1991-94 when women were victimized by a campaign of violence including rape and murder. Today, this has been magnified to include random kidnappings and beatings. Since January 1, 2006 there have been on average 30 kidnappings a day ; mostly in the environs of the capital Port au Prince. And these are the kidnappings that have been reported ; meaning that scores of addtional kidnapping go unnoticed because many victim’s family’s feel that the Haitian police can not help because of their lack of professionality and their fear they might be involved somehow.

Many of these kidnapping have happened to poor women in popular neighborhoods or in Creole, katyé popilé. You do not have to be a rich to be kidnapped in Haiti today. Because of these deepening insecurites, women, who make up the majority of the non-formal sector, have had enormous problems to make ends meet. Women selling on the street have seen a large decline in their sales near their neighborhoods where they work because people are nervous to take to the streets. In some cases, this has forced women to make the trek to the safer area of Pétion-ville, located in the hills above Port au Prince. If you walk through the streets of Pétion-ville today, it is inundated with street vendors. Sadly, because of this, the women that make the trek to Pétion-ville, have to pay double or triple in transport costs which equates to these women making a deficit instead of a profit, small as it might be.

Marjorie, a market woman selling oranges outside of Appollo meat market in Pétion-ville told me that she came up to Pétion-ville from downtown because she was afraid to sell at Croix des Bossales, the largest market downtown, because of the roving gangs in that area. She had been robbed 3 times and beaten by her attackers. She was frightened and thusly was afraid to return to her stall. So, she came to Pétion-ville which has been considered somewhat calmer than other areas (although in recent days this has been changing). She says that she has been making a deficit for the past week because she has to pay more for transportation, but she does not know what else to do. She says she can’t just sit at her house and wait for things to calm down. She has 5 children that need to eat and her husband died 3 month ago from an undiagnosed illness . She said they did not have the 150 HTG for the doctor’s consultation fee. Today, she is the only one in the house that can provide for her children and that she hopes that maybe tomorrow she will sell enough to feed her children.

As a result of this deepening crisis, women are often forced to use sex as a means to respond to the social economic risks that they are experiencing ; meaning they use sex as a strategic alternative to keep their family afloat. In doing so, they expose themselves to many risks including sexually transmittable diseases such HIV/AIDS which could potentially threaten their own lives as well as the lives of their family.

QIFD’s goal is to fight against the vulnerability of women while setting up social protection mechanisms that will allow women to better mange their social risks.

Our Target Population for this program includes women in vulnerable situations including: heads of family, prostitutes (specifically targeting thoses that are under age, are the heads of their families, young mothers and those who are pregnant and those that are young mothers. The most vulnerable group of women in this group are those that resdie in the most impoverished and overpopulated neghborhoods, known as katyé popilé. These areas have become was zones where feuding gangs are victimizing the population ; especially women and young girls

We anticipate to accomplish the following objectives through this program:

1. The increase of social and cognitive capital to help these women make better choices in the management of risks

2. Provide health training and services to lower the health risks of at risk women.

3. To accompany and support the development of economic enterprises of vulnerable women which will aid in the decrease of prostitution of both women and minors.

4. To increase the organizational capacities of the women and to provide essential skills for them to be able to take more leadership roles within their communities.

In order to obtain these objectives, are work will be designed as follows :

Axe 1 - Education

- Functional Literacy that concentrates on the emergence of vulnerable women’s capacities to better understand their conditions and to create an outlet to rise up out of these conditions.
- Non formal education of young women and adult women that are involved in prostitution that live in vulnerable conditions with children that they are responsible for.
- Psychological accompaniment for the women prostitutes, women infected with HIV/AIDS and (vulnerable) women heads of households.

Axe 2 – Women’s Health and Community Health

- Women’s health training with the manual, “Where There is No Doctor for Women”;
- Women’s and children’s preventative health trainings;
- Family planning;
- Informational campaigns and trainings focused on HIV/AIDS: how the disease is transmitted, what precautions to take to avoid contracting the virus and how to take care of someone that has HIV/AIDS.

Axe 3 – Socio-Economic Reinforcement

To put in place a social and economic development fund oriented towards:

- Access to micro-credit
- Economic initiatives to provide incentives to women who desire to get out of prostitution.

Axe 4 – The construction of Organizational Capacities

- The organization of women into a structure that represents the interests of vulnerable women and offers a space to structure the women as actors of their own development and the development of their community.
- The challenge consists for the women to become more active in defending their immediate and strategic needs. By doing this, the women will become more visible in the development of their community.
- Development of feminine leadership.

Our first program will target women living in three popular neighborhoods including Bois Moquette, Jalousie and Morne Hercule in Port au Prince. We hope that this program will be a prototype for us to enter other neighborhoods and implement the same sort of project. Women are the « poto mitan » of Haitian families and if we do not do something now, life in Haiti for the majority of Haitians will continue to decline. QIFD will not stand by and let this happen. We are strongly committed to projects that empower communities and that have a long-term, positive impact. Development for us is something that is supposed to create a positive change and we believe that this type of program will do just that.

Laurie Knop

See QIFD's projects by clicking here.

Youre so ignorant. What do

Youre so ignorant. What do you know about Voodoo worshiping? They do not deserve what they are going through, they are victims of all our white ancestors. They are victims of a bunch of assholes like you (most likely pregidous asshole) that don't educate themselves before they speak. Haiti needs to do what they did years ago, revolt against a government that is cheating them, revolt against a system that is taking advantage of them.
Anacaona!!! Anacaona!!! Anacaona!!!
God Bless you Heiti and may Olodumare hold you in the palm of his hand and may your earth be fruitfull once again and may all evil disapear from your land and may all your children grow up to be men and women of good hearts. God bless you all, your in my prayers my Haitan brothers and sisters!
Anacaona!!! Anacaona!!! Anacaona!!!

No, the reason Haiti is

No, the reason Haiti is suffering is because God is punishing you for the voodoo worshiping. You are experiencing the curses described in deu 28 as well as Black folks in America.

the early independence was

the early independence was one thing, but also having to pay France 150million just to get our independence recognized was malicious. they used out all of our sources and left us dry. still did not recognize our independence until years down the road. france owes us our money back, then we could start fresh, pay off our debt and stop depending on other.. and dominican republik , you were wrong in the 80s for destroying all of our coconut tree along your borders with acid. to all verments GOD sees all you do....AMEN

This story touched my heart

i am crying with tears at this moment becuz of what the women in haiti has to go tru. bein raped and abused by men who need to go out and work. instead their out there prayin on the women of haiti. all i really have to say is pll plzz decrease da killin and rapin, and increase da peace. Women in haiti who have to sell ur bodies i dont judge u i jus wish dat one day haiti will come at peace!

MY Prayer: dear god i pray dat u help the pll of haiti and give them strength to go on and face evry day and da madness of the world AMEN!!

Unjustice

Haitian people been treated like this because they took independent from French while African American were still slave in the U.S.Therefore, they thought haitians were the one who influence blacks in U.S. to raise from unjustice. That's the reason we are suffering today.

I agree with what you have

I agree with what you have to say. It is not fair for you and your people to be getting treated like you are. I have friends who are Haitian and i never knew what the lifestyle over in Haiti was like until i read an amazing book. The book gave me a feeling on what the lifestyle and everything is like. You are right and i am going to stand up in whatever YOU believe in. I hope everything turns out different sooner than later i really do. I give you a lot of credit for standing up for your race.

I feel that this website

I feel that this website give good information about the people in Haiti and how they are living. I would like to know more about the Haitian culture and learn about how the people live an everyday life with the very little that they have. Also I feel that the Haitian people should be treated like any other person in the world. It is not fair to them that they have to live in the lifestyle that they live in because they don't have the benefits that we have in the United States. They should be treated equally and not be treated like they have nothing at all.

Contacting QIFD

Hello, you can find more information about QIFD on their website which is at http://www.qifd.org/

Contact information for Laurie Knopp, the director, should be listed there under the "contact us" link.

Thanks!
Bryan

reply-question

How do I get information on how QIFD's projects targeting vulnerable women have proceeded to this point? Have they run any pilot programs as of yet? If so, what feedback can they offer?

my dear HAITI

i am a HAITIAN in the U.S military.i feel le i am in iraq fighting for no reason and the U.S can't even help support our country.we HAITIAN should stick togehter and support our dear country. some day to go back there and help the police force and protect our people. and try to see if we can get our country up and running again.

that is asham

im haitian and i feel bad. we haitians need to stick together it is not a time for us to be fighting it is a time for us to be waiting for the second coming of christ cuz the time is very short. Imagine if jesus comes right now seeing us do all these things what we have to say to him. We did not create so we shouldn't take away. That's all i have to say

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