Issue of Gender Inequality in Haiti and Role of 2010 Earthquake in It

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Haiti is a very tiny island country that is located in the Caribbean. Surrounding countries are Cuba and Puerto Rico. When it comes to colonization, Haiti was colonized not just by the Spanish, but the French as well. January 1st, 1804 is a very significant and well remembered day for the country of Haiti. This was the day Haiti achieved long awaited independence. Today, Haiti stands as a free market economy. A free market economy is described as an economy where rules or restrictions on trade are not imposed. Compared to the United States, Haiti has a lower annual GDP by hundreds of millions of dollars. Haiti’s annual GDP sits at $8,408 million and the United States sits at $19,485,400 million. Haiti is an extremely poor country with most of the island suffering from gender inequality and poverty.

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After the devastating earthquake in 2010, the economic development and growth of this third world country took a turn for the worst. One of the biggest problems that was a result of this downfall was the gender inequality between men and women. Gender inequality is the unfair and unequal treatment that women have to suffer from in different parts of the world.

Capitalism in Haiti is hectic, they have too much central planning and not enough capitalism (Kastner 1). Capitalism in Haiti would be very significant and helpful because the production and distribution of goods in this small island country has weak power, and it is not enough to lift them out of poverty. Capitalism would be the answer because the wealthier would make all the calls and be able to financially support the production and distribution industries.

In Haiti, gender inequality became really bad after the devastating earthquake hit in 2010. This earthquake was the primary reason for most of Haiti’s issues today. Now, there is no hope for this country to lift out of poverty and get back on their feet. Their free market economy is a mess and gender inequality is very prevalent throughout the country. Lynn states that “Disasters offer opportunities to expand our understanding of how women’s roles and identities are transformed in periods of physical and social disruption” (Horton 296). I agree with Horton on this statement because I do personally believe that when traumatic things happen, it brings out the true colors of bad people.

Before the earthquake, conditions for women were not much better. Women still faced sexual double standards, social inferiority, and a lower quality of life. Gender inequality in Haiti has existed for decades and decades, getting worse and worse as disasters continue to hit and time goes on. Horton writes about interviews with Haitian women where she reports that “Haitian women have long faced systematic gender-based exclusion, cultural and legal discrimination, and sexual and gender-based violence” (Horton 298).

After the 2010 earthquake, although gender frameworks have been mainstreamed into non-governmental organization disaster relief policies, women continue to be treated with violence and inequality and have had a loss of rights and services. The two process that have contributed to gender inequality atr gender exclusion and ineffective responses to women’s post-disaster needs. The first issue is blamed on the foreign donor funding policies. These donors have bypassed the government in their funding and have created the promotion of private agencies that copy government functions. Secondly, women’s lives are less valued so post-disaster relief teams place their primary focus on men’s needs instead (Horton, 299).

According to my research the perspective that describes gender inequality in post-disaster Haiti is hyperglobalizers. They believe that globalization is inevitable which in Haiti’s case is true. They couldn’t control the awful earthquake that hit in 2010 and they are unfortunately forced to face the consequences. According to hyperglobalizers, the economy has been transformed to a weak, poor, and uncontrollable system that benefits Haiti in no way, shape, or form.

In conclusion, Haiti has dealt with gender inequality for as long as the country has existed, and the earthquake of 2010 magnified this problem and it is worse now than ever. The nature of capitalism in Haiti is obvious when they have a crumbling government and the wealthy rule over the poor. Gender Inequality is a major problem and the end of it is not promised.

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