Haiti: Why It Can Be A Dangerous Place for Women


Haitian Mothers Wait to Inoculate Children with WHO VaccinesHaiti has been plagued by natural disasters that have devastated the people and much of the infrastructure in the country. Sadly, even before the natural disasters there was a lot of need for better healthcare for women, especially pregnant women.

According to Jennifer Schlecht, Program Officer, Reproductive Health at Women’s Refugee Commission,

“Even before the earthquake, Haiti was the most dangerous place to give birth in the Western hemisphere. Today, maternal health services are even harder to access. When disaster struck, at least 63,000 pregnant women were affected, and the country’s weakened health sector was unprepared to care for them in the earthquake’s deadly aftermath.”

According to Schlecht, s*xual violence is also a very big concern, in term of women’s health and safety and sadly, the incidence of attacks on women increase during times of natural disasters. She adds,

“S*xual violence increased to alarming levels during the chaotic weeks and months that followed the quake and continues to be pervasive today—including s*xual abuse and exploitation by those meant to protect. In the hopes of providing Haitian women with better reproductive health care in emergency settings, the Women’s Refugee Commission has joined with other international humanitarian partners and local organizations to address this urgent gap.”

Many celebrities have made it their mission to do their part by helping those in need in Haiti and some have even taken trips to work and volunteer where there is need. Wyclef Jean, musician, philanthropist and Haiti-native has used his influence to raise over $1million in aid dollars. Other celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey also flew to Haiti in 2010 and 2011 to help with relief efforts.


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