When Myrto Cesaire approached a friend to inquire about local jobs, the friend mockingly suggested that “farm work” was her only option. Cesaire, who urgently needed a job and longed to experience the plight of migrant farm workers, immediately began to apply for farming jobs through a farm labor contractor (FLC). Within a few days,…
Author’s note: For this year’s Women’s History Month, celebrated during the month of March, and International Women’s Day, which was March 8th, UN-Women championed the cause of gender parity under the banner, “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.”
Keeping in line with these themes and aspirations, The Haitian Times looks to explore some of the critical issues that affect Haitian women and those in the diaspora; beginning with gender-based violence.
By Natalie C. Holly and Soraya E. Denis
Melissa Bernier never imagined that she would be a victim of domestic violence, until she found herself in an abusive relationship. As is the case for many victims, her abuse began verbally and gradually escalated to physical assaults.
“I was in denial,” Bernier, who is a staff writer and contributor for Haitian Times, said. “From the outside looking in, my situation was a textbook domestic violence relationship, but from the inside looking out, I didn’t know what domestic violence looked like.
“I didn’t know if it was just me, if what I was going through were real issues, or if they were a lot bigger than what I thought they were.”
By Beverly Bell
In Haiti, the majority of the people working the land are women. Not only are they there during planting, weeding and harvesting, but they also play a role in transforming and marketing food products. They’re involved in the entire agricultural production process. This is why we call women the poto mitan, central pillar, of the country.
By Joshua Steckley and Beverly Bell
Jovenel Moïse, President Michel Martelly’s handpicked successor, dispossessed as many as 800 peasants – who were legally farming – and destroyed houses and crops two years ago, say leaders of farmers’ associations in the Trou-du-Nord area. Farmers remain homeless and out of work. The land grabbed by the company Moïse founded, Agritrans, now hosts a private banana plantation.
By Beverly Bell
Yesterday, Jan. 12, on the sixth anniversary of the 7.0 earthquake, Haitians mourned the countless lives lost. Among the many aftershocks they face is disaster capitalism, in which the Haitian elite and foreign corporations – backed by the US government, World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank – are grabbing lands for extraction and mega-development projects. Ricot Jean-Pierre, social worker and program director of the Platform to Advocate Alternative Development in Haiti (PAPDA), tells how inequitable control of land has devastated the vast majority throughout Haitian history, from enslavement to today.
(AP) – Members of a UN peacekeeping mission engaged in “transactional sex” with more than 225 Haitian women who said they needed to do so to obtain things like food and medication, a sign that sexual exploitation remains significantly underreported in such missions, according to a new report obtained by The Associated Press.
The draft by the Office of Internal Oversight Services looks at the way UN peacekeeping, which has about 125,000 people in some of the world’s most troubled areas, deals with the persistent problem of sexual abuse and exploitation.
The report, expected to be released this month, says major challenges remain a decade after a groundbreaking UN report first tackled the issue.
The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars.
The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success.
The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.
By Nadine C. When discussing immigration in America, most automatically think of those from the Spanish-speaking community. The face of the immigration debate in America is often times a Latino, mainly because of Mexico’s proximity to America. However, there are additional stories to be told, including that of the Haitian community in different states across…
By Beverly Bell Beverly Bell has worked for more than three decades as an advocate, organizer, and writer in collaboration with social movements in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the U.S. Her focus areas are just economies, democratic participation, and gender justice. Beverly currently serves as associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies…
By Kathie Klarreich
A United Nations presence in Haiti has become as familiar as the country’s barren hillsides. Troops of some sort have been there almost continuously since 1993, including five peacekeeping missions. The most recent, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, arrived in 2004 to provide a peaceful transition following months of armed conflict. Like its predecessors and most of the UN’s 16 peacekeeping missions worldwide, MINUSTAH, composed of troops from dozens of countries, is also charged with the protection of local citizens.