Haitian Women in History

Women in Haiti have been for a long time silenced. Their heroic acts during slavery and for the independence of Haiti have not been acknowledged. The women of Haiti have been and still are making a huge impact on society and on how their state is constructed. They have long fought for their right and created women’s movements. Their bodies were controlled and violated. Rape and torture was use as a way to intimidate the women and also to make them pay for action made by people other than them.
My paper will analyse the way women where portrayed and the important role these Haitian women played, especially during and after the Duvalierist regime. I will talk about the way in which they where reduced to inferior in their status and also about the violence that they were subject to, paying a particular attention to the rape of women. I will also take a look at the emergence of the many women’s movements in Haiti and the ones started by Haitians in Canada or the United States. Finally I will look at women writers and their role. My attention will be focus on two novels by Edwidge Danticat: Krik? Krak? and Breath, Eyes, Memory. This paper will try to show how women reclaimed their identity and their right to all be different.
Women in Haiti have always played an important role in its history. They fiercely fought along side with men to free Haiti and stop slavery. However, even after they had won the battle for independence, women were still seen as inferior and all their efforts, forgotten. President Dessalines’ Independence Constitution of 1805 provided in article 9 that “no one I worthy of being a Haitian if he is not a good father, a good son, a good husband, and above all, a good soldier#. Here we see how women were not seen as worthy of being a Haitian. They are from the beginning inferiorisedby men. This belief of the inferiority of women remained. Their place was associated whit home and domestic chores. They were seen as …


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