Women's Rights, Equity, & Security

Nobel Women's Initiative: Spotlighting Berta Cáceres Flores, Honduras

November 19, 2013

Cross-posted from Nobel Women's Initiative

“Women have been resisting, defending our lives, our bodies, our territories, our culture, our spirituality, our autonomy because we desire not only territorial autonomy and autonomy for this country, we want autonomy for our bodies, for individuals, for the sovereignty of the body of people. “

Meet Berta Cáceres Flores.

Human Rights Groups Petition Inter-American Commission to Protect Threatened Haitian Lawyer

September 15, 2013

Cross-posted from IJDH

(PORT-AU-PRINCE September 12, 2013)— Two human rights groups—the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Haiti and U.S.-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)—today asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for “precautionary measures” against the Haitian government on behalf of human rights lawyer Patrice Florvilus.  Attorney Florvilus, who heads the Defenseurs des Opprimes (Defenders of the Oppressed) in Haiti, has faced threats, intimidation, and harassment from police and judicial officials in retaliation for his legal representation of police brutality victims. 

Announcing "Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti's New Divide" - Order here!

April 17, 2013

Announcing Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti's Divide
By Beverly Bell
Forward by Edwidge DanticatCornell University Press

Beverly Bell, an activist and award-winning writer, has dedicated her life to working for democracy, women's rights, and economic justice in Haiti and elsewhere. Since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake of January 12, 2010, that struck the island nation, killing more than a quarter-million people and leaving another two million Haitians homeless, Bell has spent much of her time in Haiti. Her new book, Fault Lines, is a searing account of the first year after the earthquake.



March 8, 2013

By Beverly Bell
March 8, 2013

On this International Women's Day, we rerun a 2005 piece on one of our greatest heroines, Marie Simone Alexandre. Though she died eight years ago, her life and message remain as powerful and inspirational today as any we know. 

"It was thanks to God and Sister Simone." I heard this over and over in the mid-1990s as I was interviewing rape survivors in one of Port-au-Prince's shantytowns. The women were battling the devastating effects of rape, employed as a weapon of war by one in a decades-long series of U.S.-backed regimes.[i] My question to these women, which so often invoked Simone's name, was "From where have you found the strength to go on?"

NY Times Suggests It's Pointless to Report Rape in Haiti, Ignoring Serious Efforts to Protect Women

January 4, 2013

Re-posted from Truthout.

Sunday, 23 December 2012 

By Meena Jagannath, AlterNet | News Analysis

What is the point of doing any work in Haiti? After all, the country is a mess and it’s hard to shake that habit. And its reputation.

Athena Kolbe and Robert Muggah’s December 9 New York Times op-ed illustrates in detail the post-rape reality for a survivor of sexual violence in Haiti – a series of misfortunes that encapsulate all of Haiti’s failings in responding to rape. Yet the authors make no mention of the hard work of many groups that have been trying to improve the country's reputation.

New ‘Beyond Shock’ Report Charts Progress Against Sexual Violence in Haiti since 2010

December 3, 2012

Cross-Referenced from potofi.org

A comprehensive field progress report, “Beyond Shock: Charting the Post-Quake Landscape of Sexual Violence in Haiti – Progress, Challenge and Emerging Trends,’ is being presented today in Haiti by the PotoFanm+Fi Haiti post-quake coalition (Women and Girls Pillar inKreyol). The Beyond Shock report charts advances in addressing gender-based violence (GBV) and providing services to sexual violence victims across key sectors of the reconstruction. It provides updates from over 60 agencies and field providers, and offers profiles of grassroots leaders. It was written by author and journalist Anne-christine d’Adesky and includes a foreword by Haitian author Edwidge Danticat and a visual essay on Girls in Haiti by photographer Nadia Todres.

The report is attached in pdf form at the bottom of this article. 


KOFAVIV co-founder Malya Villard-Appolon Named 2012 CNN Hero

October 16, 2012

Cross-posted from CNN 

By Allie Torgan

Malya Villard-Appolon is a rape survivor who co-founded KOFAVIV, an organization that helps victims of sexual violence in Haiti. She is a top 10 nominee for CNN's 2012 Heroes award. 

BIRTHING JUSTICE: And You, What Are You Waiting For?: A World without Slavery

June 16, 2012

 By Beverly Bell
June 16, 2012

Helia Lajeunesse |Port-au-Prince, Haiti

The restavèk system is modern slavery. When a family takes in a restavèk to live with them, they stop doing any work in the house. The restavèk child has to do everything. If the child doesn’t work hard enough, they beat them. The child can’t eat with the family, and usually doesn’t even eat the same food – just scraps. He or she sleeps on the floor, often in the kitchen. They don’t pay the child; they just give them a little food. They never send him or her to school. The family views that child as an animal.

“When it rains, we will grow again”: Haitian women observe International Women’s Day

March 14, 2012


by Alexis Erkert, photos by Ben Depp

March 14, 2012

“As activists, we commemorate this as a day of struggle, a day to make our voices heard until someone pays attention and helps provide solutions to our problems." Facing the Haitian parliament with a throng of banner-waving and singing women at her back, Rachelle Fondechaine of Women Fighting for the Development of Haiti continued, "Today is March 8th! It's a day when women workers in New York first took to the streets in to demand their rights in 1857. This day is marked in our memories, and as women in Haiti, we have no support, we are left in the street, our children don't have access to school...”


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