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#360: Haitian Women and Violence issue of Windows on Haiti (fwd)
From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>
You will find an analysis from Anne Fuller, quite sobering yet optimistic,
on the legal, judicial, and political aspects of a major social ill:
Violence Against Women, as it occurs in Haiti.
The article, entitled "Challenging Violence: Haitian Women Unite Women's
Rights and Human Rights", originally appeared in the Women and War bulletin
by the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars in their Spring/Summer 1999
issue. Anne graciously submitted the article to Windows on Haiti to broaden
its reach. I invite you to read it, and reflect on the means to bring about
a sharp reduction in the inordinate number of daily instances of violence
against Haitian Women.
Certainly, this is not a Haitian problem at its core, as the manifestations
of violence against women occur universally. However, societies differ in
the ways they go about protecting the rights of their members. In Haiti,
legal protection and redress for women are substantially weaker, and we need
to aggressively reinforce them. In particular, we need to ask why, during
Haiti's recurring periods of political repression, the rape of women, often
in plain view of their family members, becomes such a widespread tactic.
Secondly, we must challenge the notion that is prevalent in some quarters in
Haiti that wife-beating is a private matter, perhaps even one of marriage's
rights. Thirdly, there is the endemic problem of the restaveks,
disproportionately female, who are so ordinarily abused physically as
punishment for every transgression, small or large, real or imagined.
Women Rights is nothing more than Human Rights, and as a society we need be
reminded that we are EQUALLY human, and must be treated accordingly. Once
more, I invite you to read Anne Fuller's treatment of this topic on Windows
For the French speaking among you, do take note of the preceding analysis by
Marc-Arthur Georges entitled: "La Démocratisation en Haïti".
For the music lovers, read the latest CD reviews of Boukman Eksperyans, Edy
Brisseaux, and Nemours Jean-Baptiste in Serge Bellegarde's Chronique
Look thru & Imagine,
Guy S. Antoine