A Call From Haiti on the 110th International Women's Day

Co-Founder, KOFAVIV

On the occasion of the 110th International Women’s Day, we take this opportunity to celebrate and reflect on this year's powerful theme: Choose to Challenge.

Today, March 8, 2021, the Commission of Women Victims for the Victims (KOFAVIV) greets our global network of friends, colleagues and supporters, especially the members of the local press, to thank them for their efforts and good work to open the eyes of the Haitian society regarding the country's situation.


March 8, 2021 marks the 17th anniversary of the founding of KOFAVIV, with years of advocacy in front of the national and international community to denounce and reduce violence against women and girls in the society and helping them with some of their needs. Today, still, we live in a country where none of the basic human rights are fully respected, especially the rights of women and girls.

In this past year alone, KOFAVIV has recorded over 200 cases violence against women and girls, including incidents of sexual violence, kidnapping as well as physical and psychological abuse. -- Malya Villard-Appolon

It's hard to "celebrate" International Women's Day when reflecting on the high number of acts of violence against women and girls in Haiti. Among the most revolting cases that we've responded to this year, a 5 year old child was abducted, killed  and dumped in the dumpster because his mother, a roasted peanut seller, did not have enough money to meet the ransom demand. This is just one of many cases of Haitians being abducted and killed by bandits, a situation that is rapidly growing worse as the political situation here unravels.


Against this backdrop, KOFAVIV cannot call this day a celebration of women. Instead, KOFAVIV calls on our global network to make this a day of ACTION. -- Malya Villard-Appolon

We invite all people and organizations fighting for human rights within the society to redouble our efforts so that we can have a country where everyone can live as human beings. We call on the leadership of Haiti and it's international partners to hold accountable the careless and ineffective governance that we are experiencing in Haiti today.

The political turmoil here seems to have taken all of our leaders attention on their own problems, not the peoples. This ability to be self-absorbed is paid for off the backs of the people, especially women, who despite these challenges continue to teach, and run small businesses, serve their communities and provide professional services of all kinds. Stop taking our taxes to pay for bandits to abuse us.

KOFAVIV echoes the voices of the women we serve: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

We urge all Haitians living in the country and the civil society of the friends of Haiti to stand up and join forces to curb the violence in all forms within the society in general and of women and girls in particular. Today, on International Womens Day, we invite you to join the women of Haiti in declaring:

ENOUGH with impunity.

ENOUGH with Kidnapping.

ENOUGH with sexual violence.

Thank you,

Malya Villard-Appolon

Click here to  join Goldin Global Fellows Malya Villard Appolon (KOFAVIV) and Daniel Tillias (SAKALA) for a live virtual update on this situation in Haiti on April 15th at noon Central.

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