Monday, January 18, 2010

Don't forget Haitian women (by Suzie)

I know people want to give any way they can to help Haiti. But let's not forget that gender plays a role. Here's an excerpt from the Madre, which has long worked in Haiti:
Because of their role as caretakers and because of the discrimination they face, women have a disproportionate need for assistance. Yet, they are often overlooked in large-scale aid operations. ... It is not enough to ensure that women receive aid. Women in communities must also be integral to designing and carrying out relief efforts. When relief is distributed by women, it has the best chance of reaching those most in need. That’s not because women are morally superior. It is because their roles as caretakers in the community means they know where every family lives, which households have new babies or disabled elders, and how to reach remote communities even in disaster conditions.
Like Madre, the Global Fund for Women has a crisis fund, but also is looking to the future. When I had money, I donated to both of these nonprofits and highly recommend them.

RHRealityCheck has a great round-up about aid, Haiti and women. The Soroptomists also have a paper on how disasters affect women, and I've written on this topic before. I'm leaving town, but feel free to add links in comments about other nonprofits working on the different needs and skills of women.