Shadow Report


Gender Shadow Report

by Rele Fanm ak Fi Collective

Full Preliminary Report

Rapport Parallèle sur les Questions de Genre 

Main Recommendations

Scale-up Women’s Participation in Recovery and Reconstruction
Gender equality principles must guide all aspects of disaster mitigation, response and reconstruction. Increasing the visibility and strengthening the capacity and meaningful participation of female leaders and women’s civil society organizations in recovery and reconstruction is central to re-establishing civilian institutions.

  1. Appoint a representative of the women’s movement as a voting member of the proposed Intermediary Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti (CIRH), which will oversee the coordination and implementation of the Government of Haiti's Master Plan over the next 18 months;

  1. Include a representative of the women’s movement in the Council of the Authority for the Development of Haiti1, and in the Consultative Committee of the Council;

  1. Facilitate a ‘surge’ in women’s participation and gender expertise in all relevant reconstruction processes, including the national steering committee and other relevant regional and international processes;

  1. Ensure that a positive enabling environment is in place for affirmative action, e.g. provision of transportation, day care, per diems, basic security;

  1. Convene civil society dialogues focused on gender issues and help bridge the networking, programming and capacity gaps between indigenous women’s organizations and international counterparts; 

  1. Include gender experts in donor and non-governmental assessment missions and ensure that they are paired with national partners to encourage mentorship and exchange.

  1. Support institutional strengthening of local women’s organizations involved in peace building and development including through regional networks;

  1. Nominate a UN Special Rapporteur who will monitor and recommend solutions to ensure Haitian women are integrated and included as participants and leaders in all phases of recovery and reconstruction.

Finance the Mainstreaming of Gender Equality into Reconstruction Planning
The PDNA allocates only US$2.8, US$8.4 and US$16.9 million for six months, 18 months and three years respectively for Gender under cross cutting issues, whereas  other sectors such as housing stands at US$505 million for three years and urban infrastructure at US$145.5 million. 

  1. Include clear criteria for women’s needs in housing reconstruction, infrastructure building, decision-making among others;

  1. Establish a Trust Fund for Women and Reconstruction that supports strategic and catalytic activities – especially those advanced by women’s groups. Priority areas for investment include economic development, public health and nutrition, water and sanitation, national and local planning, public administration reform, cultural renewal projects, local forms of energy, and justice and security;

  1. Require gender analysis and gender responsive budgeting to be included in all priority plans and budgets, specifying stakeholders, indicators and benchmarks for achieving gender equality aims;

  1. Establish procurement, allocation and monitoring mechanisms to ensure that 15% of total funding is allocated toward gender sensitive programming.



Pursue a Gender Sensitive Approach to Macro-Economic Planning
Conventional approaches to macro-economic planning in post-disaster contexts – including in Haiti – emphasizing liberalization, privatization and industrial growth may inadvertently undermine national strategies for gender equality. Composing eighty percent of the rural agricultural workforce, women are severely impacted by the commercialization and privatization of agricultural land. Because women and men occupy unequal positions in the labour market and the household, women are more negatively affected by policies which privatise basic service provision, including energy, communications, transportation, health care and education. While privatization has been seen to expand markets and increase foreign investment, there is little analysis that shows privatizing basic services actually benefit the poor. Claims of a more efficient private sector have yet to born while outsourcing public sector employment is known to disproportionately affect women’s employment.1

  1. Ensure that any policies advocating for the privatization of basic services2 give priority to household and community needs in addition to those identified in the private and public sectors – and do not decrease access through the imposition of user fees; 

  1. Initiate a large-scale public works employment programme that creates a cadre of basic health and child care providers and midwives;

  1. Ensure that labour codes guarantee equality in hiring, promotion, and pay and provide for maternity protection;

  1. Extend credit facilities to women heads of household and widows at affordable rates to enable them to construct and reconstruct private residences and start up or expand their businesses. This should be accompanied by mechanisms to ensure women’s enhanced access to land and housing, through zero interest loans, support for women’s cooperatives and affordable public housing finance;

  1. Establish standards and safeguards to protect women’s employment in any decisions associated with the outsourcing of public sector functions;

  1. Assess proposed macroeconomic frameworks for gender bias and carry out routine local assessments of women’s needs in relation to water, sanitation and energy and advocate for appropriate reforms and redress;

  1. Advocate for socio-economic strategies that build on women’s historical importance in market-based entrepreneurship, including trading, fisheries and agriculture. Invest in these capacities through the provision of substantial credit, loans, technical skills upgrades, and the elimination of gender biases in market access;

  1. Support women-led firms and market-based social entrepreneurship among  women, including in the import/export, agriculture, fisheries and domestic sectors that could potentially benefit from UN procurements3; and

  1. Require that all major multilateral and bilateral subcontractors introduce gender action plans in investment and procurement decisions.

Invest in Social Protection and Reconstruction of Basic Infrastructure and Energy Facilities

The impacts of the earthquake extend far beyond mortality and morbidity. With over half of all Haitian households headed by women, there are far-reaching implications for child survival, orphaning, family cohesion and access to property. Haitian women face considerable challenges in relation to accessing land: just over ten per cent of women in rural areas work on their own farms4. Many women and elderly caregivers who expected to be cared-for by their children are now forced to take in relatives, orphans, and even their own adult children. As compared with shorter term safety net programs, social protection approaches take a longer term developmental perspective and typically center on the role of government.
  1. Expand social insurance package and basic living allowances for women to prevent survival, transactional or commercial sex or other exploitative situations. Guarantee women’s access to medical care and unemployment insurance (for which they are typically excluded in the informal market).

  1. Invest in child-care facilities and the provision of safe transportation to reduce excess duties assumed in the wake of the disaster. Support programs such as food support, cash transfers, price subsidies for basic needs, public works programs and social health insurance;

  1. Ensure that women and widows will have access to post disaster entitlements – including land, housing, and financial and in-kind compensation for destroyed and semi-destroyed property/assets;

  1. Ensure that any programmes designed to substitute wood charcoal5 (to reduce the felling of trees) are accompanied by ancillary activities to reorient agricultural producers towards suitable practices;

  1. Invest in testing alternative, clean and renewable energy sources (solar, wind, thermal, etc) to meet household and community needs.6 Investment in small-scale and hybrid wind and solar power could meet essential community needs – including for street lighting (crucial for women's security).

Ensure a Gender Equal Approach to Governance and Public Administration
The creation of the Haitian Ministry for the Status of Women symbolized a significant milestone for women. Actions to re-establish governance and related capacities should ensure that resources are similarly devoted to rebuilding, staffing and resourcing the Ministry.  Constraints to women’s meaningful engagement in political institutions and public decision making require specific commitments to address factors that inhibit women’s ability to campaign for public office or their freedom of choice at the polls.
  1. Ensure that any decentralization of services is accompanied by appropriate resources and priorities toward health, education and basic public security;

  1. Establish a quota system requiring 50% representation of women and other civil society groups in local development committees;

  1. Ensure that priority is given to reconstructing schools, health care facilities, and local markets;

  1. Provide opportunities to ensure that marginalized urban and rural communities, including women, are included in any private sector economic development initiatives;

  1. Support gender-sensitive constitutional, legislative and electoral reforms that emphasize quota systems and uphold social, civil political rights, among others. These efforts should be aimed at increasing women’s participation in governance and elected positions;

  1. In reconstituting a critical mass of qualified human resources, support the use of quotas, together with an appropriate enabling environment, to increase women’s participation in governance and elected positions – specifically:
    • The proposed training plan involving national school of administration and public policy should ensure 50% placement of women;
    • Special efforts to engage executives and technicians of the Diaspora need to recognize additional family/other obligations in order to facilitate women’s participation;
    • Recruitment of young qualified diploma holders should ensure equal representation among women and men;

  1. Encourage the creation of a national school of administration and public policy to ensure 50% placement of women; and

  1. Undertake special efforts to utilise the expertise of qualified women in public service


Prevent Sexual and Gender Based Violence and Exploitation (SGBV)
Recent surveys in Haiti suggest that women – especially girls under 18 – were highest at risk of sexual violence7. Although sexual and gender based violence is frequently hidden from view it constitutes a major impediment to recovery and reconstruction. It reduces the ability of women and girls to exercise their rights, their leadership roles and contributions to development. It affects not only their mobility and health, but also the way they are perceived as legitimate participants in post-conflict decision-making. Responses to sexual and gender based violence continue to be narrowly defined, under-resourced and inconsistently addressed throughout recovery and reconstruction assessments, frameworks and priority plans.
  1. Undertake a comprehensive re-envisioning of a gender–responsive security sector reform. Across the security sector, urgent attention must be given to establishing accountability systems; gender sensitive recruitment, selection and retention policies; specific procedures for registering crimes against women and protecting victims; gender responsive police structures, deployment, risk assessment,   research, and crime and injury data and utilise existing information collection systems8;
  2. Support SGBV training for Haitian National Police (HNP) and UNPOLs, increase the number of women police officers in HNP and UNPOLs, ensure women have safe and private spaces in police stations to report cases comfortably, support women police quotas, women patrols, specialized women hotlines, women brigades, and wider security infrastructure to enhance safety and security. There are already examples with MINUSTAH and the Haitian National Police, but also among certain Civil society organization (CSOs), national and international NGOs, of efforts to enhance women’s participation in formal public security structures. These should be scaled-up and supported;

  1. Additional focus should be given to other sectors of enforcement (e.g. peacekeeping, army, customs, prisons, immigration); oversight (including Ministries of Finance, Military Tribunals Ministry of the Interior) and in identifying risks to women posed by non-statutory security elements.

  1. Increase women’s access to justice through legal reforms that bring formal and traditional justice systems into conformity with human rights norms and standards. Ending gender discrimination requires technical support for enacting constitutional, legislative, electoral, judicial reforms, and the reform of military codes.

  1. Increase women’s legal literacy and aid, monitoring and reporting women’s human rights violations, ensuring reparations and restitution for women, and training and capacity building for gender justice

  1. Need to encourage women's economic empowerment through vocational skills training (involving market analysis to determine what is needed), job placement, and access to microfinance in order to enable women to be independent. This is being a key prevention strategy for SGBV in the long term. 

  1. Improve response mechanisms providing support for survivors, better monitoring and reporting of human rights violations, building on work that GBV sub-cluster is already doing with existing support services.

  1. Address the health needs of women survivors of violence, including counseling, the provision of emergency contraception and HIV/AIDS prophylaxis treatment.

Promote Key Sectors Including Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries
The current focus on the PDNA is on domestic agriculture and fisheries; industrial textile manufacturing; and the development of tourism and markets for cultural goods and services.  A number of multilateral and bilateral donors also favour investment in large public works projects to help reconstruct the national grid, including roads and electricity, and to clear debris from cities and rivers created by the earthquake. Given the high participation of male workers in the construction and extractive industry sectors, men could benefit more from reconstruction efforts than women.

  1. Recalibrate planning in and support for agriculture, livestock and fisheries development so that it accounts for the implicit gender division of labor – particularly of women in the informal sector.

  1. Ensure that priority is given to the construction of rural roads to open up farm zones and the provision of transportation to facilitate women’s safe travel to markets;

  1. Refinanced and recapitalized agricultural enterprises should give subsistence, small and medium size producers access to credit on acceptable conditions and rates. 

  1. Support rural activities that emphasize the restoration of production infrastructure (irrigation systems, agricultural tracks) and the development of catchment areas (reforestation, setting up forage patches, works to correct gully erosion in the peri-urban zones, fruit arboriculture, etc).

  1. Recognise that the earthquake has dramatically increased care burdens among women and their families. An estimated 90 percent of care is provided in the home typically without pay, training or external support. The principal front-line providers are family members, mainly female spouses and daughters (when women themselves are sick, they generally receive far less in the way of care).9

Invest in Women’s Health

The UNFPA estimated that approximately 63,000 pregnant women were living in the areas affected by the recent earthquake, 7,000 of whom would deliver in the next month. Before the earthquake Haiti featured the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere. Approximately 670 women per 100,000 died of complications related to childbearing and only 26% of births were attended by a trained birth attendant. Many women and girls and children are among those who lost limbs and are now disabled or have limited mobility post-quake. Limited access to medicine, including antibiotics, blood products, dressings, physical therapy or rudimentary rehabilitative care have left many quasi-abandoned and crippled, leaving them with greater challenges to accessing food, water, using latrines, and vulnerable to theft, violence and sexual assault. Overall, the needs of newly disabled Haitians, including women and girls, are a priority area for Haiti, including a need for prosthetics.
  1. Train health personnel and support mobile and permanent women-centered sexual and reproductive health services, including by equipping medical facilities with the necessary diagnostic tools and supplies such as contraceptives, including female and male condoms as well as emergency contraception.

  1. In delivery facilities, support specialists to help distressed babies. Provide basic materials including beds, sheets, oxygen, pertussin, nutritional supplements, water purification and prosthetics/care for the disabled and basic tools like infant heart monitors used in delivery.

  1. Increasing the provision of broad delivery services for women, with special attention to pregnant women. Also increase support for trained birth attendants and midwives. This should include the provision of basic prenatal and post-partum care as needed as well as lactation counseling.

  1. Offer women psychological support to address their own injuries or losses sustained in the earthquake and fears of the future related to these losses, homelessness, and loss of economic livelihood as a result of the earthquake.

    Support a national relief plan for HIV/AIDS that includes providing urgent access to HIV testing and treatment for pregnant women, especially in provinces, STD, TB and malaria screening and treatment,  and post-rape access to HIV post exposure proplylaxis (PEP) drugs and counseling; 
Support Data-Driven Planning and Programming for Recovery and Reconstruction
Reliable and representative sex and age disaggregated data is central to designing, implementing and monitoring/evaluating policies and programmes that are gender sensitive. Such data is critical for establishing baselines against which to set targets and benchmarks. At a minimum, efforts should be made to:
  1. Support vital registration and routine census data collection and analyses that are extensive and inclusive;

  1. Reinforce national capacities for regular public and private surveillance and surveys on priority sectors including women’s security; and

  1. Administer a post-conflict gender needs and capacity assessment in all sectors ensuring gender expertise on all assessment and field missions and visits and country specific meetings, both formal and informal.