Haiti's Women Face Echoes of a Violent Past
Posted on: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
This piece was originally published on Women Under Siege, a Women's Media Center project.
By Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director
After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, stories of the disaster dominated international news media. Journalists rushed to report on the wreckage. Photographers scrambled for shots of the rubble. Aid agencies struggled to overcome obstacles to sending humanitarian aid.
As an international women’s human rights organization that works in partnership with local women, we at MADRE immediately reached out to our grassroots partners. Since the 1990s, we’d worked with women leaders there to provide medical care, counseling, and legal support to women targeted with rape because of their advocacy during the pro-democracy movement. So when the earthquake struck, we were able to mobilize quickly to make sure women and their families had the basics for survival—food, water purification tablets, and plastic sheeting for shelter.
Soon the women began to tell us that they were witnessing a rise in sexualized violence. Overcrowded, unlit, and unpatrolled displacement camps—combined with the disintegration of community networks that had protected women and girls—contributed to this escalation.
But there was already a disaster in progress before the earthquake hit.
Years of political upheaval plagued Haiti in the early 1990s and 2000s. In 1991, its first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was overthrown by a military coup... [click here to continue reading]
Archives"Press Releases" Home March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 September 2013 August 2013 June 2013 March 2013 February 2013 September 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 November 2010 October 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 September 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 January 2009 October 2008 September 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 February 2008 January 2008 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 March 2007 February 2007 December 2006 October 2006 July 2006 June 2006 September 2005 January 2004 August 2001
Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444
MADRE & Our Partners Make News
The Right to Heal: 11 Years After Iraq Invasion, U.S. Urged on Reparations for War's Enduring Wounds (Democracy Now!, March 26, 2014)
Protests Call Iraq's New Family Law 'Legalization of Pedophilia' (Rudaw, March 10, 2014)
Haiti: the neoliberal model imposed on the country is failing its citizens (The Guardian, February 5, 2014)
Human rights group slams Iraq over treatment of women in prison (Miami Herald, February 2, 2014)
New Ways to Evaluate Impact (Stanford Social Innovation Review, January 24, 2014)