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Haitian Women - Symbol of Strength

A Haitian woman is a woman who bake herself under the hot Caribbean sun, with a bucket on top of her head selling small packages of water at the Croix des Bossalesmarket, to be able to send her children to school. Poor mother, her beauty has faded away by hard work. The reminder of her astonishing beauty is perhaps her smile.

A Haitian woman, is a woman whose feet are worn out, from walking 10s' of miles with a basket full of fruits and vegetables on top of her head, weighing hundreds of pounds; her voice has almost vanished from yelling out merchandise as she passes affluent neighborhoods. Haitian women are great entrepreneurs; they sell and make a profit out of everything they offer, no matter how small they may seem; from tiny cups of pistachios, to buckets of charcoal. In Haiti, women do it all. They work for over 12 hours under hot light bulbs sewing clothes that they probably will never be able to afford.

In Haiti, no matter what a woman is selling, how long she's been walking, how heavy her load might be, how hot the sun is or how tired she might be, she is always smiling. Haitian women are not smiling because they enjoy the burden that miseries have bestowed upon them; they're smiling because even though all this hard work is probably not going to be enough to bring food on the table, but they will be able to save enough to give their children the education they did not receive.

You better not look down upon Haitian women. Their hard work have made them Queen, President and Prime Minister of Haiti. Governor General of Canada, Congresswomen and Mayoress in the USA. They are prominent actresses, writers, models, singers. Presidents and deans of respected colleges. Haitian women really can do it all.

In Haiti, despite their tremendous contributions to society, women are grossly underrepresented, but they have been some great efforts to change that. After amendment, the new Haitian Constitution requires governmental post to be occupied by at least 30% of women. As of right now, the percentage of women in cabinet posts exceeds the recommended quota. We are in the right path but more must still be done; women in the legislative branch of government is less than 10 %. If we really want to rebuild this country better, women must play a crucial role in the rebuilding process because they are the backbones of Haiti.

- Curtis and Pamela, Emerging HOPE Co-directors and Founder

- 2015 Haiti Missionaries (Sponsoring Organization American Baptist Churches)

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