Friday, January 22, 2010

Mourning 3 Giants in the Haitian Women's Movement

Sadly, three of the most critical leaders for women's rights in Haiti have been confirmed lost in the last week's earthquake.

Myriam Merlet, founder of Enfofamn, was remembered on Democracy Now's January 19th broadcast, where Eve Ensler called her a "great feminist" and a "radical feminist". Merlet was the founder of Enfofamn, a media-driven organization for women's rights. She's known for her commitment honoring trailblazing women in Haiti's history and for her work in bringing a Vagina Monologues project to Haiti.

More about Merlet in the video below.

Founder of Solidarite Fanm Ayisyen (Solidarity with Hatian Women), Anne Marie Coriolan, has also been confirmed dead. Known for her work in establishing rape as "an instrument of terror and war", as opposed to a "crime of passion" she is thought to have been critical in ensuring a new level of awareness around issues of justice for women.

Magalie Marcelin, an actress, lawyer, and activist who founded Kay Fanm, a women's-rights organization, crusaded against rape and violence against women and cofounded a women's shelter. Rememered in a Miami Herald article among Haiti's "biggest thinkers", Marcelin is remembered as one who "played and important role on behalf of society". Among other efforts, a Facebook Group has been founded in her memory.

Peace to these three women-warriors. Despite the difficulties and concerns that abound now, history gives us hope that new leaders will rise from the ashes to continue their important work.

But in the interim, so many in a nation mourn.

Photo of activist Myriam Merlet, from

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