The WESES Project
WESES (Women Empowerment: Self Economic Sufficiency)
Women are the most underprivileged group of people in Haiti. Statistics state that 44 percent of Haitian breadwinners are women, and out of that number, 60 percent are living in extreme poverty. 83 percent of economically active women work within the informal sector, and the majority of them earn only 1 to 2 USD per day. 60 percent of women are illiterate, and 26 percent of women from ages fifteen and up have been sexually abused and/or violated of their gender rights (UN Office of the Secretary General’s Special Advisor Report, 2010).
This situation is exacerbated by Haiti’s gender biased culture, which causes shameless repetitive discrimination and violence against women. Women are often left with no choice but to sell themselves in order to receive money and food. Some of them barter intercourse (“survival sex”) to support their children’s education (www.thenation.com).
DFI works to empower Haitian women and girls for their self-economic sufficiency by providing job opportunities, vocational training, accounting classes, international trade courses, and introducing them to microcredit projects.