Haiti

Making lasting change in Haiti requires transforming Haitian society so that women are integrally involved in decision-making at every level of society, and especially in the political system. Suzanne Lerner, WDN member

Our Vision

WDN members believe that more women in power and leadership roles in Haiti is critical to a successful recovery from the devastation of the earthquake. We want to support projects that can help ensure women’s full participation during the rebuilding process.

WDN Members on a trip to Haiti in March 2011. Photo by Jean Karotkin.

Our Current Focus

The Haiti Circle is focused on addressing women’s exclusion from decision-making and formal governance processes in Haiti, and invests in organizations that address legal barriers and cultural discrimination in areas such as land rights, systematic violence against women and girls, and women’s lack of access to economic opportunities. We also conduct educational activities for our members on the challenges facing Haitians and effective strategies to bring women and children to the forefront of post-disaster reconstruction efforts.

In 2014 we are exploring broadening the scope of the circle’s work to include a more international focus, with a specific interest in women’s empowerment projects.

Our Story

Formed in 2010, the Haiti Circle has focused on identifying opportunities that exist post-earthquake to create structural change and a more equitable life for Haitian women. Our Circle’s formation was inspired by WDN’s day-long program on Haitian Women and Girls: Creating Safe Spaces, Confronting National Recovery, and Building a New Future of Equality. Organized in partnership with the UN Foundation, this program focused on ways in which international and local communities could help ensure women’s full participation during Haiti’s rebuilding process.

In 2011, our Circle supported Femmes en Democratie, which designed a host of non-partisan campaign materials that could be used to educate voters about the issues facing women and children who have been the targets of gender-based violence. In the 2011 election, six women who used this messaging were elected, a slight increase from the number of women in the last Haitian Parliament. A new Constitutional mandate that women make up at least 30% of government positions in Haiti, including the cabinet, was another encouraging change.

The Haiti Circle has also been engaged with the work of We Advance, which is serving as a coordinator for all the small women’s groups on the ground that are not getting access to many resources, including USAID funding.

Our Partners

United Nations Foundation
Femmes en Democratie
Vital Voices
We Advance