The Role of Women in Haitian Society

Haiti is a country struggling economically, politically, and socially. As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, it has repeatedly been on the failed states index. To improve its standing among nations of the world, it must operate a stable and organized government, strengthen its infrastructure, and accord women equal and fair treatment in every aspect of their lives.


Women in Haiti are marginalized by their gender, considered inferior by males at every level of society. The brainwashing of women begins in childhood. Small girls quickly learn they are not valued, experiencing incest and watching their mothers being harassed and beaten.

Their subjugation continues at school where they learn they are intellectually inferior. Haitian men believe they have a right to dominate their women. Even if women work and contribute to household expenses, their husbands still regard them with scorn. In the workplace, women are frequently sexually harassed, forced to have sex with their male superiors to put food on the table for their families.

Physical abuse towards women takes extreme forms. One report details a husband, who beat his wife during her pregnancy, which prematurely began her birth contractions. Women expect to be treated badly, believe it is their due, and keep quiet out of fear of more social rejection.

Public policy advocates for women's rights understand that for Haiti to advance as a nation, women must experience empowerment at the social, political, and economic levels. Without development of women's talents and potential, Haiti cannot progress as a nation.

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