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Women’s rights and the fight to prevent violence against women in Haiti

The visibility and prominence of women’s rights movements in Haiti has stalled over the last decade, especially since the earthquake of 2010. Gains made during earlier waves of progress in the 1930s, 1950s, 1980s, and 1990s resulted in increased civic and political rights and spaces for women. However, these gains have diminished or reversed in recent times. The post-earthquake period, characterized by top-down and externally led humanitarian interventions, led to a de-funding of women’s organizations. In spite of this, a strong grassroots network of women’s organizations persists, and the feminist movement endures. One of the salient issues on their agenda is violence against women.

The overall objective of this project, which is being implemented by the University of Quebec in the Outaouais, is to strengthen Haitian research, intervention, and advocacy capacities on women’s rights, particularly on preventing violence against women. This project aims to investigate and document the repercussions of long-term international interventions on women’s rights and violence against women in Haiti. It intends to promote the enhancement and sustainability of feminist knowledge in Haitian academia.

The project will work alongside Haitian civil society organizations, academia, and government representatives to create a knowledge repository and capacity building activities for emerging researchers. This will contribute to improving the environment for gender discussions, as well as policy and practice on preventing gender-based violence in Haiti. The project will work in close collaboration with another IDRC-supported project that focuses on providing more equitable, quality, and accessible sexual and gender-based violence services to Haitian women and girls using an evidence-based and participatory process.

This project is also a good fit with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and it is closely aligned with a high-priority foreign assistance objective of the Government of Canada, which is the empowerment of vulnerable adolescent girls in Haiti.

Project ID
Project Status
36 months
IDRC Officer
Chaitali Sinha
Total Funding
CA$ 549,500.00
Global Health
Institution Country
Project Leader
Denyse Côté
Université du Québec en Outaouais