Development Women’s Center in Haiti

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23rd Sep 2019 Health And Social Care Reference this

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Women’s Center in Haiti

 My project for Haiti is to create and set up a children and women’s center in Port-Au-Prince. Many towns and villages in Haiti lack basis “necessities” such as running water and electricity. However, people of Haiti often face deeper issues such as rape and violence. With a children and women’s center, it would create a haven for victims to come to. The center would   offer services including: shelter for victims of violence and advocating for women’s rights. Haitians are often open to work with foreign businessmen. The UN Committee has taken steps into the direction of addressing attempting to prosecute violators of human rights and holding those accountable for past abuse allegations. By establishing a center and shelter for women, it allows victims of rape and violence to get of the streets and rehabilitate themselves and their confidence as an individual. As an NGO, we will be dedicated to advancing women, gender equality and inclusion into the Haitian society. By doing so, we increase the confidence in women and this will give them purpose. By giving them purpose, it will increase the educated and the overall well-being of individuals and the community. The overall goal is to not only to help the women, but to lobby for legislation changes in government. If legislation can change and be enforced properly, we can turn the women’s center over to the state and they will be able to fund and assess their people’s needs properly and more in depth. If we take full responsibility of the NGO and do not attempt to include and involve the Haitian government, they will have no incentive to serve as advocates for women. They will see use as doing the job for them, “letting them off the hook”.

  1. Need

  In 2010, an earthquake hit the island of Haiti, devastating not only the physical structure of the island but the community too. Thousands of adolescents were displaced following the earthquake, leaving them vulnerable to abuse and violence (Sloand 2017). Displaced survivors are disproportionally vulnerable to violence after natural disasters and man-made disasters (Sloand 2017). Isolated bathrooms, poor lightening and a lack of safe housing made women vulnerable to attacks in the city’s makeshift camps, where, in 2012, residents reported sexual assault at a rate 20 times higher than Haitians living elsewhere (Morrin 2017). Doctors without borders that the earthquake destroyed 60 percent of existing medical facilities, including those for victims of sexual violence (Morrin 2017). Years after the earthquake, Human Rights Watch estimates that 61,000 displaced people still live in the camps (Morrin 2017).

 Pre-earthquake abused adolescents reported the perpetrators as a boyfriend (50%) or family member (30%) (Sloand 2017). Post-earthquake, 20.5% of physical abuse perpetrators were family members (Sloand 2017). The risk of being sexually abused did not change after controlling for age and education (Sloand 2017). Among girls, ages 13-17 who reported sexual abuse, school was the second most common place for unwanted touching (“Gender”). Of

women, ages 18 to 24 who received money for sex before turning 18years old, 27 percent reported that schools were most common location to meet people paying for sex (“Gender”).

 A January 2000 report estimated that 90 percent of Haitian women experience some form of gender-based violence in their lifetime (“Haiti”). Haitian women do not receive equal protections under the law and are thus vulnerable to either being ignored or re-victimized if they

do report crimes (“Haiti”). There are currently not state-run shelters for female victims of violence in the nation (“Haiti”).  There is also a need for safe places within schools (“Gender”).

 Despite new laws, few women will ever report the rape violence because of the prevailing social norms that blame victims for their own assault (Kolbe 2012, 4). Even fewer survivors will in a position to navigate the complicated procedures to bring against a rapist (Kolbe 2012, 4).

  1. Legal/Permit requirements

 A non-profit working internationally can run into much more complicated legal and tax issues than a domestic nonprofit (Holland). An international NGO must take into consideration not just U.S. law, it needs to be aware of laws of Haiti (Holland).

 Even though we will be operating an NGO, I believe it is important to understand the culture of running a business in Haiti as well. Haitians are opening to working with foreigners and have worked with Americans. As a result, there will be less backlash when initiating conversation or our NGO with the Haitian community (“Haiti”).

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 After the earthquake struck the island and money began to flow into the island, the “dream” of a happy partnership between NGOs and the Haitian government failed to materialize (Klarreich 2015). From the beginning, NGOs followed their own agendas and set their own priorities, largely excluding the Haitian government and civil society (Klarreich). Because the government has a history of weakness and corruption (Klarreich). This set the stage for NGOs in Haiti.

  1. Workforce availability

 When implementing an NGO within Haiti, I believe it would be in our best interest to bring Peace Corps volunteers and Doctors without Borders into our women’s center. By doing this we will ensure the women are receiving proper services by professionally trained individuals.

 The Peace Corps is “a service opportunity for motivated changemakers to immerse themselves into a community abroad, working side-by-side with local leaders to tackle most pressing challenges of our generation” (About). There are currently 230,000 Peace Corps volunteers and alumni (About). The Peace Corps is not currently serving or stationed in Haiti, however by opening a women’s center would be an excellent opportunity to begin relations between the Peace Corps and Haiti.

 Bringing in trained health professionals through Doctors without Borders would be beneficial for the treatment of abused and battered women. Doctors could treat women who may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease as a victim of rape or women who may require medical treatment as a result of domestic or gang violence.

 The country’s population is a little over 10 million and is quite young (Workforce). The young workers have a reputation of being energetic, flexible, hard-working, and trainable and most important, multilingual (Workforce). Once the Peace Corp and Doctors without Border come in an establish the women’s center, they can train women who have successfully transitioned out of the shelter to come back and become advocates and help other women escape their current situation. Doctors without Borders can train local health providers how to assess and treat the women. 

 Efforts such as The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund have been made after the devastation of the earthquake to retrain and help integrate individuals into the workplace. They emphasized three programs: Oasis Foundation, Quisqueya University, and EducaTech. 

  1. Subjective Cultural Norms

 Women’s organizations have pushed for reforms to the penal code to improve legislation protecting women, though government interaction and political instability have stalled the attempts (Morrin 2017). Rape was only considered a serious crime starting in 2005 (Morrin 2017). Prior to 2005, a man could pay off or marry his victim (Morrin 2017). In 2010, the law was updated after chilling reports of rape committed against the elderly and children (Kolbe 2012, 4).

 For decades, victims were blamed for inviting rape, and seldom spoke out (Kolbe 2012, 4). These stigmas were perpetuated by politicians and the media (Kolbe 2012, 4).  Having an education, money and connections doesn’t necessarily (Kolbe 2012, 4).  Social and culture

change is critically needed since abuse was at an unacceptably high rate prior to the earthquake (Sloand 2017).

 In Haiti, women are often subject to stigmas and discrimination (“Shattering” 2013) Certain jobs are not offered to women simply because of their gender, and many times husbands forbid their wives from accepting certain jobs that are deemed too sensitive (“Shattering” 2013).

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 The “cultural norm” of Haiti is to suppress women and their opinions. It is frowned upon for women to have a voice in any type of situation, such as politics or reporting violence or crimes individuals may experience. In only recent times, did rape become “serious crime”.

  1. Feasibility

 Haiti’s Constitution protects women from workplace discrimination as well as physical and sexual abuse, and guarantees the right to political participation, in practice women routinely face exclusion and harassment in public and private life (“Gender”). Realistically, due to the instability of the government it is hard to predict what the future may hold for women and women’s rights. Despite what is stated in the Haitian government, the only way it will be effective is through enforcement. Haiti is currently lacking the enforcement of women’s rights.

 Haiti is often referred to as the “Republic of NGOs”. Between 1990 and 2007, international aid spending for nearly quadrupled from 5.6 billion to 21.8 billion. Why is Haiti still in an unstable economic state when they are provided tremendous amounts of funding? Haiti’s government over the course of history and since gaining their independence in 1804

has been politically unstable and corrupt. As a result, funds have not been used responsibility and where it is needed the most.

 Political instability has stalled attempts at reforming the penal code since 2005 (Morrin 2017).  As getting full support from the Haitian government may be difficult, getting support from international organizations and other countries may be easier because of a human rights issue in the treatment of women. If we allow the Haitian government to have a more active

role, as previously stated, the feasibility of the women’s center may be less difficult. It is also important to note, there are currently no shelters of this kind in Haiti, it is unclear why that is.

 

Conclusion

 Haiti’s Constitution provides for a foundation for protecting and advocating for women and their rights. However, it is not enforced that way it should be. By creating a women’s center, women would have a place to seek shelter when they are exposed to violence or become victims of violence. This center would be the first of its kind in Haiti and hopefully it will set a trend and we will be able to establish more throughout the country. The women’s center would become and

advocate for women and teach women strategies of navigating the complicated procedures to bring against their alleged rapist. Compared to any developing country in the world, Haiti is home to the hosts like largest group of NGOs. The NGOs provide relatively 80% of basic services within Haiti. With that being said, the Haitian government is not and will not offer services such as women’s center that shelters victims of violence. It is in our best interest to

take the initiative to support these women and advocate for social reform. By helping women with Haiti, it will have a social effect as well as an economic effect. It will increase women’s confidence and encourage them to come leaders and active within society. A women’s center is essential if Haiti wants to become socially and economically sustainable. Once women receive the support they need to become successful, they can enter society as an active, productive member.

 There is no guarantee that women will no become exposed to the same dangers that landed them into the women’s shelter. It is important for the center to also become advocates and lobby for woman’s rights reform or to fully enforce what is stated in the Haitian Constitution. This will ensure the work of the center is meaningful and sustainable. It is essential to hold the perpetrators responsible for their actions.

Bibliography

  • “About .” Peace Corps, www.peacecorps.gov/about/.
  • “Economy Data.” World Bank, wbl.worldbank.org/en/data/exploreeconomies/haiti/2017
  • “Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment.” U.S. Agency for International Development, 16               Aug. 2018, www.usaid.gov/haiti/gender-equity-and-womens-empowerment
  • “Haiti: 2018 Country Review.” Haiti Country Review, Jan. 2018, pp. 255. Print.
  • Klarreich, Kathie, and Linda Polman. “The NGO Republic of Haiti.” The Nation, 8 July 2015, www.thenation.com/article/ngo-republic-haiti/.
  • Kligerman, Maxwell et al. “International aid and natural disasters: a pre- and post-earthquake longitudinal study of the healthcare infrastructure in Leogane, Haiti” American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene vol. 92,2 (2015): 448-53.
  • Kolbe, A., & Muggah, R. (2012, December 9). Haiti’s Silenced Victims. New York Times, p. 4.
  • “Nonprofits Working Internationally.” Cameron Holland Law, cameronholland.com/legal-basics/for-nonprofits-2/nonprofits-working-internationally/.
  • Morrin, Siobhan. “Survivors of Haiti’s Sexual Violence Crisis Are Finally Making Themselves   Seen; Since the 2010 Earthquake, Haiti Has Suffered from an Epidemic of Sexual Violence—but More and More Women Are Sharing Their Stories.” Newsweek, no. 15, 2017.
  • “Shattering Gender Roles and Showing the Way in Haiti.” Shattering Gender Roles and Showing the Way in Haiti – IFRC, 15 Apr. 2013.
  • Sloand, E., Killion, C., Yarandi, H., Sharps, P., Lewis, O. A., Hassan, M., … Campbell, D. (2017). Experiences of violence and abuse among internally displaced adolescent girls following a natural disaster. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73(12), 3200–3208.
  • “The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Donates $1.5M Toward Workforce Development” Manufacturing Close – Up (2011). ProQuest. Web. 
  • “Workforce.” CFI – CENTRE DE FACILITATION DES INVESTISSEMENTS, 2015, cfihaiti.com/index.php/investment-climate/workforce.

.

Women’s Center in Haiti

 My project for Haiti is to create and set up a children and women’s center in Port-Au-Prince. Many towns and villages in Haiti lack basis “necessities” such as running water and electricity. However, people of Haiti often face deeper issues such as rape and violence. With a children and women’s center, it would create a haven for victims to come to. The center would   offer services including: shelter for victims of violence and advocating for women’s rights. Haitians are often open to work with foreign businessmen. The UN Committee has taken steps into the direction of addressing attempting to prosecute violators of human rights and holding those accountable for past abuse allegations. By establishing a center and shelter for women, it allows victims of rape and violence to get of the streets and rehabilitate themselves and their confidence as an individual. As an NGO, we will be dedicated to advancing women, gender equality and inclusion into the Haitian society. By doing so, we increase the confidence in women and this will give them purpose. By giving them purpose, it will increase the educated and the overall well-being of individuals and the community. The overall goal is to not only to help the women, but to lobby for legislation changes in government. If legislation can change and be enforced properly, we can turn the women’s center over to the state and they will be able to fund and assess their people’s needs properly and more in depth. If we take full responsibility of the NGO and do not attempt to include and involve the Haitian government, they will have no incentive to serve as advocates for women. They will see use as doing the job for them, “letting them off the hook”.

  1. Need

  In 2010, an earthquake hit the island of Haiti, devastating not only the physical structure of the island but the community too. Thousands of adolescents were displaced following the earthquake, leaving them vulnerable to abuse and violence (Sloand 2017). Displaced survivors are disproportionally vulnerable to violence after natural disasters and man-made disasters (Sloand 2017). Isolated bathrooms, poor lightening and a lack of safe housing made women vulnerable to attacks in the city’s makeshift camps, where, in 2012, residents reported sexual assault at a rate 20 times higher than Haitians living elsewhere (Morrin 2017). Doctors without borders that the earthquake destroyed 60 percent of existing medical facilities, including those for victims of sexual violence (Morrin 2017). Years after the earthquake, Human Rights Watch estimates that 61,000 displaced people still live in the camps (Morrin 2017).

 Pre-earthquake abused adolescents reported the perpetrators as a boyfriend (50%) or family member (30%) (Sloand 2017). Post-earthquake, 20.5% of physical abuse perpetrators were family members (Sloand 2017). The risk of being sexually abused did not change after controlling for age and education (Sloand 2017). Among girls, ages 13-17 who reported sexual abuse, school was the second most common place for unwanted touching (“Gender”). Of

women, ages 18 to 24 who received money for sex before turning 18years old, 27 percent reported that schools were most common location to meet people paying for sex (“Gender”).

 A January 2000 report estimated that 90 percent of Haitian women experience some form of gender-based violence in their lifetime (“Haiti”). Haitian women do not receive equal protections under the law and are thus vulnerable to either being ignored or re-victimized if they

do report crimes (“Haiti”). There are currently not state-run shelters for female victims of violence in the nation (“Haiti”).  There is also a need for safe places within schools (“Gender”).

 Despite new laws, few women will ever report the rape violence because of the prevailing social norms that blame victims for their own assault (Kolbe 2012, 4). Even fewer survivors will in a position to navigate the complicated procedures to bring against a rapist (Kolbe 2012, 4).

  1. Legal/Permit requirements

 A non-profit working internationally can run into much more complicated legal and tax issues than a domestic nonprofit (Holland). An international NGO must take into consideration not just U.S. law, it needs to be aware of laws of Haiti (Holland).

 Even though we will be operating an NGO, I believe it is important to understand the culture of running a business in Haiti as well. Haitians are opening to working with foreigners and have worked with Americans. As a result, there will be less backlash when initiating conversation or our NGO with the Haitian community (“Haiti”).

 After the earthquake struck the island and money began to flow into the island, the “dream” of a happy partnership between NGOs and the Haitian government failed to materialize (Klarreich 2015). From the beginning, NGOs followed their own agendas and set their own priorities, largely excluding the Haitian government and civil society (Klarreich). Because the government has a history of weakness and corruption (Klarreich). This set the stage for NGOs in Haiti.

  1. Workforce availability

 When implementing an NGO within Haiti, I believe it would be in our best interest to bring Peace Corps volunteers and Doctors without Borders into our women’s center. By doing this we will ensure the women are receiving proper services by professionally trained individuals.

 The Peace Corps is “a service opportunity for motivated changemakers to immerse themselves into a community abroad, working side-by-side with local leaders to tackle most pressing challenges of our generation” (About). There are currently 230,000 Peace Corps volunteers and alumni (About). The Peace Corps is not currently serving or stationed in Haiti, however by opening a women’s center would be an excellent opportunity to begin relations between the Peace Corps and Haiti.

 Bringing in trained health professionals through Doctors without Borders would be beneficial for the treatment of abused and battered women. Doctors could treat women who may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease as a victim of rape or women who may require medical treatment as a result of domestic or gang violence.

 The country’s population is a little over 10 million and is quite young (Workforce). The young workers have a reputation of being energetic, flexible, hard-working, and trainable and most important, multilingual (Workforce). Once the Peace Corp and Doctors without Border come in an establish the women’s center, they can train women who have successfully transitioned out of the shelter to come back and become advocates and help other women escape their current situation. Doctors without Borders can train local health providers how to assess and treat the women. 

 Efforts such as The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund have been made after the devastation of the earthquake to retrain and help integrate individuals into the workplace. They emphasized three programs: Oasis Foundation, Quisqueya University, and EducaTech. 

  1. Subjective Cultural Norms

 Women’s organizations have pushed for reforms to the penal code to improve legislation protecting women, though government interaction and political instability have stalled the attempts (Morrin 2017). Rape was only considered a serious crime starting in 2005 (Morrin 2017). Prior to 2005, a man could pay off or marry his victim (Morrin 2017). In 2010, the law was updated after chilling reports of rape committed against the elderly and children (Kolbe 2012, 4).

 For decades, victims were blamed for inviting rape, and seldom spoke out (Kolbe 2012, 4). These stigmas were perpetuated by politicians and the media (Kolbe 2012, 4).  Having an education, money and connections doesn’t necessarily (Kolbe 2012, 4).  Social and culture

change is critically needed since abuse was at an unacceptably high rate prior to the earthquake (Sloand 2017).

 In Haiti, women are often subject to stigmas and discrimination (“Shattering” 2013) Certain jobs are not offered to women simply because of their gender, and many times husbands forbid their wives from accepting certain jobs that are deemed too sensitive (“Shattering” 2013).

 The “cultural norm” of Haiti is to suppress women and their opinions. It is frowned upon for women to have a voice in any type of situation, such as politics or reporting violence or crimes individuals may experience. In only recent times, did rape become “serious crime”.

  1. Feasibility

 Haiti’s Constitution protects women from workplace discrimination as well as physical and sexual abuse, and guarantees the right to political participation, in practice women routinely face exclusion and harassment in public and private life (“Gender”). Realistically, due to the instability of the government it is hard to predict what the future may hold for women and women’s rights. Despite what is stated in the Haitian government, the only way it will be effective is through enforcement. Haiti is currently lacking the enforcement of women’s rights.

 Haiti is often referred to as the “Republic of NGOs”. Between 1990 and 2007, international aid spending for nearly quadrupled from 5.6 billion to 21.8 billion. Why is Haiti still in an unstable economic state when they are provided tremendous amounts of funding? Haiti’s government over the course of history and since gaining their independence in 1804

has been politically unstable and corrupt. As a result, funds have not been used responsibility and where it is needed the most.

 Political instability has stalled attempts at reforming the penal code since 2005 (Morrin 2017).  As getting full support from the Haitian government may be difficult, getting support from international organizations and other countries may be easier because of a human rights issue in the treatment of women. If we allow the Haitian government to have a more active

role, as previously stated, the feasibility of the women’s center may be less difficult. It is also important to note, there are currently no shelters of this kind in Haiti, it is unclear why that is.

 

Conclusion

 Haiti’s Constitution provides for a foundation for protecting and advocating for women and their rights. However, it is not enforced that way it should be. By creating a women’s center, women would have a place to seek shelter when they are exposed to violence or become victims of violence. This center would be the first of its kind in Haiti and hopefully it will set a trend and we will be able to establish more throughout the country. The women’s center would become and

advocate for women and teach women strategies of navigating the complicated procedures to bring against their alleged rapist. Compared to any developing country in the world, Haiti is home to the hosts like largest group of NGOs. The NGOs provide relatively 80% of basic services within Haiti. With that being said, the Haitian government is not and will not offer services such as women’s center that shelters victims of violence. It is in our best interest to

take the initiative to support these women and advocate for social reform. By helping women with Haiti, it will have a social effect as well as an economic effect. It will increase women’s confidence and encourage them to come leaders and active within society. A women’s center is essential if Haiti wants to become socially and economically sustainable. Once women receive the support they need to become successful, they can enter society as an active, productive member.

 There is no guarantee that women will no become exposed to the same dangers that landed them into the women’s shelter. It is important for the center to also become advocates and lobby for woman’s rights reform or to fully enforce what is stated in the Haitian Constitution. This will ensure the work of the center is meaningful and sustainable. It is essential to hold the perpetrators responsible for their actions.

Bibliography

  • “About .” Peace Corps, www.peacecorps.gov/about/.
  • “Economy Data.” World Bank, wbl.worldbank.org/en/data/exploreeconomies/haiti/2017
  • “Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment.” U.S. Agency for International Development, 16               Aug. 2018, www.usaid.gov/haiti/gender-equity-and-womens-empowerment
  • “Haiti: 2018 Country Review.” Haiti Country Review, Jan. 2018, pp. 255. Print.
  • Klarreich, Kathie, and Linda Polman. “The NGO Republic of Haiti.” The Nation, 8 July 2015, www.thenation.com/article/ngo-republic-haiti/.
  • Kligerman, Maxwell et al. “International aid and natural disasters: a pre- and post-earthquake longitudinal study of the healthcare infrastructure in Leogane, Haiti” American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene vol. 92,2 (2015): 448-53.
  • Kolbe, A., & Muggah, R. (2012, December 9). Haiti’s Silenced Victims. New York Times, p. 4.
  • “Nonprofits Working Internationally.” Cameron Holland Law, cameronholland.com/legal-basics/for-nonprofits-2/nonprofits-working-internationally/.
  • Morrin, Siobhan. “Survivors of Haiti’s Sexual Violence Crisis Are Finally Making Themselves   Seen; Since the 2010 Earthquake, Haiti Has Suffered from an Epidemic of Sexual Violence—but More and More Women Are Sharing Their Stories.” Newsweek, no. 15, 2017.
  • “Shattering Gender Roles and Showing the Way in Haiti.” Shattering Gender Roles and Showing the Way in Haiti – IFRC, 15 Apr. 2013.
  • Sloand, E., Killion, C., Yarandi, H., Sharps, P., Lewis, O. A., Hassan, M., … Campbell, D. (2017). Experiences of violence and abuse among internally displaced adolescent girls following a natural disaster. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73(12), 3200–3208.
  • “The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Donates $1.5M Toward Workforce Development” Manufacturing Close – Up (2011). ProQuest. Web. 
  • “Workforce.” CFI – CENTRE DE FACILITATION DES INVESTISSEMENTS, 2015, cfihaiti.com/index.php/investment-climate/workforce.

.

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