Help Support Haitian Women This International Women’s Day
Today, March 8th, 2018, is International Women’s Day, and we at the Brian Young Foundation would like to pause to reflect on the importance of this. The day was made official in an attempt to bring civil awareness to the issues that women and young girls experience in our world, all across the globe- issues like sexism, gender-based violence and abuse, discrimination and inequality. This day is meant to bring focus to women’s rights and the ways they are violated every day around the world.
On March 1st, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) supported a workshop on March 1st about constitutional reform. The event was organized by the Women’s Collective for Women’s Political Participation. They addressed women’s specific educational and medical needs and discussed the importance of adequate representation and taking political action.
As Americans, these issues are far less common than we see here in Haiti. Rough socio-economic living conditions on the island have made Haitian women particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation, violence, and indentured servitude. Following Hurricane Matthew, Haitian women need our support more than ever.
Women here make up 52% of the population. Most of them are born into extreme poverty. Young girls are often pulled out of school early to contribute to the family through labor or work. These girls are more likely to remain in these conditions, proceeding to give birth to their own children. Being unable to provide a better life, they often find themselves in desperate situations where they are forced to make unfathomable choices like abandoning their children. Education is a crucial component of a Haitian girl’s chance at escaping poverty. Children of mothers who went to primary school are twice as likely to go, and children of literate mothers are 50% more likely to live past the age of five. But the challenges these women face impact their children the most, perpetuating a cycle of suffering.
That is why the Brian Young Foundation is committed to breaking that cycle. As part of our mission, ensuring that young neglected girls have access to education is crucial to their success. If the work we do can in any way prevent a young woman from having to give up her child, we are making a difference. This International Women’s Day, we urge you to reflect on the situation in Haiti and see these women’s issues as humanitarian issues. These struggles are directly correlated to the chance these Haitian kids have at a good life. When we help these women gain the rights they deserve, we are protecting the children, the future of our world.