Here is a wonderful column in The Daily Tar Heel by UNC student and friend of FSU, Ellen Louis, on why charity is not enough in our support for Haitians and how the U.S. has exploited Haiti throughout history.

Click here to read the column.

As it usually goes, women suffer the most under conditions of extreme poverty. The following is an excerpt from the National Organization for Women:

“Despite what might seem like insurmountable circumstances, Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin, Anne Marie Coriolan, and Myrna Narcisse courageously fought for the recognition of women’s rights in Haiti. Tragically, all four died in the… earthquake. To fully appreciate the work of these feminist leaders, one must examine how women have been relegated to the status of second-class citizens with little claim to justice or legal protection.

After President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in the military coup in 1991, the new [U.S backed] regime employed systematic rape of women and girls as a tool of political oppression used against supporters of the democratic government and their families

Rape and violence are also a grave reality of women’s lives in the domestic sphere

Abortion is illegal in Haiti, and anyone convicted of performing the procedure can receive up to nine years in prison. A woman who obtains the procedure or carries out her own abortion is also subject to penalty of imprisonment.”

It’s no surprise that the U.S., who has directly contributed to these conditions women face in Haiti, exhibits this same type of violence against women as a means of control.