Life was never easy for the majority of women in Haiti. And now, in the aftermath of the earthquake, circumstances have gone from from bad to worse.
A child of Haitian parents, Taina Bien-Aimé -- the executive director of Equality Now, an international human rights organization -- describes those circumstances in the Huffington Post:
Violence against women is an unaddressed catastrophe in Haiti. Kay Fanm, a Haitian women's rights organization, estimates that 72% of Haitian girls surveyed have been raped and at least 40% of women are victims of domestic violence.
Human trafficking and sex tourism were thriving businesses the day before the earthquake....With limited government capacity in Haiti, we can only shudder at the potential havoc criminal profiteers could trigger there, with probable impunity.
Scores of international agencies have documented the particular consequences of disasters on women and children....[and] the link between humanitarian emergencies and increased exposure of women and children to sexual violence and exploitation. Disaster relief efforts...often fail to give attention to the basic needs of women...which further jeopardizes their lives and safety.
Protection of human rights, particularly those of women and children, is as important as providing immediate medical attention, food and shelter. In Haiti, women come last in terms of protection from violence.
Need recommendations for charitable organizations on the ground in Haiti that can make the most of your donation? Here are a handful you may not have heard of.
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