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NY Times Suggests It's Pointless to Report Rape in Haiti, Ignoring Serious Efforts to Protect Women

A recent New York Times op-ed offers only half the picture.

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There is also a lot of work being done on the legal reform side, where the Ministries of Justice and Women’s Affairs are leading efforts to draft and propose reforms that would facilitate rape prosecutions and decriminalize abortion in limited circumstances, such as rape and incest. The international community should support these initiatives to pass better legal protections for women and girls, and assist the Haitian government in meaningfully implementing these laws.

Don’t get me wrong – this work is by no means easy or failproof, and there remains much to reproach in how Haiti addresses its severe problem of gender-based violence. And yet, we can’t simply throw up our hands in exasperation. As responsible advocates, we must see these failings as challenges, and put our hands to work alongside committed Haitian lawyers, activists and officials to try to transform Haiti from basketcase to a place where women and girls can live free of violence.

Meena Jagannath works at the Community Justice Project of Florida Legal Services, Inc., in Miami, Florida. She was a legal fellow and coordinator of the Rape Accountability and Prevention Project at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux from May 2011-September 2012.

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