The Haitian women are not just victims : an analysis of the human rights situation for the Haitian women, and a discussion of the focus on the Haitian women and the state of Haiti as weak, rather than agents of change

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Storgaard, Anna Helbo
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In the aftermath of natural disasters, there is a tendency to perceive women only as victims particularly in developing countries. It is true that the women are usually hit the hardest during and after natural disasters; more women die, more women experience violence and more women generally have their rights violated. This thesis demonstrates that this was the case as well in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. The analysis shows that the Haitian women have experienced a discriminating high level of violations compared to the men. They have generally been overlooked and ignored in the reconstruction process. There is a clear need to include, consult and to have the women participate, as this could have minimized many of the violations. There has been a focus on their weaknesses and status as victims rather than their strengths and abilities to become agents of change. Similarly, the Haitian state has constantly been overlooked and undermined, as the donors have not trust their capabilities and have given the funds to the NGOs instead. The state cannot shoulder the entire responsibility alone, but cooperation between the state and the NGOs is needed. However, there is a general need to change this focus on the women and the state from their weaknesses to their strengths in order to move forward.
Second semester University: Ruhr University, Bochum.
human rights, Haiti, women