On March 8, PEC lawyers and facilitators gathered in Saut d’Eau for a community meeting in honor of International Women’s Day. Over 125 community members met to discuss the challenges women face in enforcing their rights to education and health. Representatives from grassroots women’s groups such as KOFAVIV (Commission of Women Victims for Victims) and FAVILEK (Women Victims Get Up Stand Up) spoke passionately about the disparities in access to education as well as the barriers that women who have been victims of sexual violence face in accessing the healthcare system. Many community members noted that while there have been recent reforms to the penal code and public health law regarding sexual violence, there are significant gaps in implementation.
Sunday’s meeting marked the first step in the long-term collaborative effort between Bureau des Avocats Internationaux’s PEC and its network of grassroots women’s groups. Groups such as KOFAVIV and FAVILEK have built trusting relationships within the local communities and PEC is committed to continue working with them to address the unique, intersectional problems women face in Haiti regarding the right to health and education. Concurrently, by engaging in a strategic partnership with PEC that provides education rooted in a solid legal framework, these groups seek to build their capacity and amplify their impact. Together, PEC and grassroots women’s groups are working to obtain a more just society for women in Saut d’Eau and all across Haiti.