The Issue of "Restavek" in Haiti
Did you know 2 out of every 10 children in Haiti are being Forced to Performed Domestic Work?
What is Empowering Women Stands For here at Brice Foundation?
One can’t talk about empowering women without talking about gender inequality. In fact, economic inequality is one aspect of gender inequality. Gender inequality is a problem that every society whether industrialized or not has to deal with. Many psychologist argue that, such an inequality is due to various social norms and gender roles or expectations that are being established by societies. I could not agree more. In every society, men are seen as the provider of the family while women are seen as the care taker of the family. As a result, women are being discriminated against socially and cause them not to be treated the same way men are being treated.
There is no doubt such inequality has caused serious frustration among women and cause tension between the two genders. Most of us understand the social concept, it does not matter how hard a woman works or how intelligent she is, she will never make the same amount of money a man makes for the same type of jobs performed. This right here creates a socioeconomic imbalance between men and women, which leads to men superiority over women. Despite many efforts that are being done in many industrialized countries to eliminate gender inequality, it still exists. Certain industrialized countries even make illegal to discriminate against a person based on his/her gender. However, women are still being discriminated against whether at the workplace, at school, or any other public and private institutions.
That leads us to ask, what cause men to discriminate against women because of gender difference? If we recall when we were children who were our role model in the family, our favorite actors, our favorite games, the types of toys we use to play with, the types of activities we used to perform, etc. they all contributed to who we are and how we behave toward others. Women are seen as the symbol of softness while men are seen as the symbol of toughness. Society associate domestic works to women while attributing dirty works and other types of heavy works to men.
A successful man is measured by the size of his pocket and his work type, while a successful women is measured by her family and her children. This means, when financial problems occur in the family, the man is technically seen as not doing his job well as the head of the family and when children are misbehaving the women is being blamed as not doing her job as a caregiver or the manager of the family. This alone can help us understand why there is economic inequality between men and women even in industrialized countries. However, in developing countries, such as Haiti, women’s financial situation is even worse.
Women make up to 60% of the Haitian population, but yet, they are not benefiting the same economic privileged that men are benefiting due to the fact that it is a male-dominated society. Women represent more than half of the Haitian population, but since most of them don’t have economic power or financial independence they rely on the husband to take care of them. This means, men are seen as the providers of the families while women are expected to stay home and perform domestic works. This is why so few women are in the workplace and any other public or private institutions. For those who are working, most of them are under paid. As a result they make up to 70 to 75% of those living in poverty in Haiti. It’s like being set for failure financially.
Can you imagine living in a country where more than 60% of the population is already out of work based on gender and not having to deal with severe poverty? Having say that by no mean we are saying that poverty in Haiti is caused by gender inequality only. There are some other things that have contributed to poverty in this country, such as, a slow and outdated economic system where businesses can’t compete against each other, unemployment level; more than 80% of the population is out of work, and a fail system to name a few.
We believe that empowering women is imperative in order to reduce poverty in Haiti and in other developing countries around the world. It would be foolish and baseless to think about reducing poverty in our society without empowering women who make more than 60% of the population. We believe with a microcredit system interventions precisely made for women will aim both reducing poverty and contributing to women’s empowerment. In fact, according to U.N. “empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors of life is essential to build stronger economies, achieve sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, their families, and communities.”
In fact, even in industrialized countries empowering women is seen as very important in order reduce poverty and create equality. Empowering women is increasingly seen as an important part of the international development agenda to reduce poverty across the world. But to make this happen, first women need to have access to lands, credit, and all other productive resources that can help them out of poverty. In order words, they need to have access to every resources available to men. Whether it’s for retail or other business purposes, Brice Foundation will strongly support our women base in order to accomplish two important things; first to bring them out of poverty, and second to help them accomplish their economic freedom.
Picture of Haitian Women Selling Fruits and Vegetables at the Haitian Flea Market System
Picture of Haitian Women Going to the Haitian Flea Market to Sell.
Picture of Haitian Women Dancing Haitian Folklore
Picture of Haitian Women Making Cookies out of Dust, butter, and salt. This is a traditional type of Cooky in Ht.