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6906: "development" and gender roles: what is empowerment? (fwd)

From: Tara DePorte <taradeporte@hotmail.com>

Dear list members,

I recently returned from a trip in Haiti that had, at the least, a very 
profound impact on my perspective and thoughts on many issues including 
approaches to "development".  As a student, I was there to do both research 
and volunteering involving issues of water quality and environmental 
degredation.  I was very lucky to be exposed to and work with many different 
"development" organisations and projects (predominantly very local Haitian 
organisations, but some larger international ones as well). Throughout my 
time there, two very reoccuring themes presented themselves:  a feeling for 
the need of much improved education systems coupled with a need for a 
collaboration of women merchants and workers (as a potential catalyst for 
local, social and political change).  According to many of the people that I 
talked to, women not only run most families and raise the children ( as 
there are many single family homes), but they are also some of the most key 
figures in the Haitian economy and flow of commodities within the country.
Although I have many more observations and opinions to comment on, I would 
like to ask any memebers of the list if they are interested in further 
discussion these issues of gender within the context of "development" 
organisations, particularly those of Haiti.  I am located in Virginia, but I 
will be in NYC this coming weekend and would love to meet with anyone 
knowledgeable on a personal or institutional level.  Additionally, I am very 
interested on opinions of how these gender roles are maintained and 
transformed for Haitian men and women living in the U.S.
If there are any people interested or available for either a discussion or 
meeting concerning issues such as these in person, via email, or phone 
please let me know and contact me on my personal email:

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to your responses!


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