Kendra Helmer, USAID
Political instability, chronic poverty, and crime all contribute to a high prevalence of gender-based violence and discrimination against Haitian women and girls. While 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. Haiti has an active women’s movement, yet women face higher rates of unemployment, are more likely to suffer poor health outcomes, and are less likely to own land or hold political office than men. Women seeking political office face considerable obstacles, including patriarchal attitudes toward leadership, lack of financial support, and threats of violence and intimidation. Despite these challenges, important progress has been made in recent years to advance women’s rights.
USAID Strategy and Activities
Reducing rates of GBV and empowering women are critical priorities for promoting Haiti's long-term economic and democratic development. To do so calls for a sustained engagement through legislative action, effective law enforcement, community outreach, increased literacy, and economic empowerment. USAID works with the Haitian government, civil society organizations and the international community to address barriers to women’s advancement across sectors.
Connecting women farmers and entrepreneurs to resources: Feed the Future Haiti supports women-led farmer associations, provides master farmer training and connects women to markets. USAID invests in female entrepreneurs and helps connect women to formal banking services and credit.
Democracy, human rights & good governance: USAID supported the Haitian parliament and the executive branch to pass and enact legislation that positively impacts the lives of women and children. USAID activities work with the Electoral Council and Haitian civil society advocacy groups with the aim to fully integrate women into every aspect of the electoral process.
Protecting mothers and infants: USAID activities promote nutrition, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, family planning, and training for health care providers in maternal and child health.
Safe school environments: USAID works with the Ministry of Education to maintain schools that are free from any refusal and bias based on gender and to promote awareness of GBV.
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Last updated: April 21, 2016