After disaster, women confront an escalated danger of violence, including rape and sexual assault. This was the reality faced by thousands of Haitian women and girls after the 2010 earthquake.
KOFAVIV, a MADRE partner, is an organization founded by and for rape survivors. Since the earthquake, their core membership has continued to live and organize in Haiti's displacement camps.
Together, we have worked to prevent rape, care for survivors, improve safety and living conditions in the camps and ensure that women displaced by the earthquake have the advocacy, training and resources they need to play leadership roles in ending violence and rebuilding their communities and their country.
We are also supporting our Haitian partners in their work to ensure that human rights are enshrined in the law and that their government is lobbied to implement these legal protections.
To achieve this, we organized workshops bringing together representatives from civil society, various sectors of the Haitian government and members of the international human rights community for collaborative dialogues on ways to address gender-based violence in Haiti.
On February 6, 2013, over 200 members of civil society and government attended the latest workshop in Haiti. It highlighted pending landmark legislation that, if approved by the Haitian Parliament, would be a major advancement to address gender-based violence and discrimination.
Below are three critical provisions in the legislation:
- Legalize abortion in limited circumstances, for example, where the health of the mother is in danger and in instances of rape and incest;
- Modernize the definition of rape, including specific codification of marital rape as a crime; and
- Protect Haiti's LGBT community by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The workshop helped to build the momentum needed for passage of this legislation, which would make great strides toward removing the previously identified obstacles to prosecution of these offenses.
You can read more about the workshop and pending legislation here. Stay tuned for developments.
Take Action to End Violence against Haitian Women – add your name to a letter of support to Haitian women's rights activists who are working tirelessly to secure passage of this legislation.
For More Information the Legislation
Haitian Civil Society's Petition for Legal Reform to End Violence against Women
Learn More About MADRE's Programs in Partnership with Haitian Women
Healing Haiti, Healing Ourselves
A Haven for Haitian Girls