As we talked about in the previous blog post, education is one of the biggest tools we use at Womenful Voice to change the lives of vulnerable women in Haiti and financial education is a crucial part of this.
According to a report by the World Bank: “Haiti’s economic and social development continues to be hindered by political instability, increasing violence, and fragility. Haiti remains the poorest country in the LAC region and among the poorest countries in the world.”
This is a growing issue and families in Haiti suffer each day because of it. The marginalized and vulnerable sectors in the country are usually the most affected. It is a small island so, everyone suffers from natural disasters, insecurity, and political instability, but the after-effects are concentrated on Women and children.
Due to deep-rooted social-cultural norms and associated gender biases, women are disproportionately financially excluded. This inequity has led to a gender poverty gap as large portions of female populations lack education opportunities and are challenged by financial illiteracy and limited financial independence.
Lockdown or “peyi lock” in creole, had already been the daily life of Haitians for more than a year, as had the blocking of economic activities, the closure of schools, limited movement, etc. When the Italian students did not return to school, back in May 2020, after the holidays in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Haitian kids had not gone to school since September 2019.
The country had also just canceled the national carnival festivities for safety, not health, reasons for the second year running. Indeed, since July 2018, the country has been regularly blocked by popular demands for the improvement of living conditions, to which the government is unfortunately unable to respond.
Among this great fragility, we can see that public institutions no longer play their role in protecting the population, so, it is needed that the individuals and the community provide the resources required to emerge from the crisis.
Financial education becomes fundamental as part of these resources to improve the resilience of the population, especially for women who often take care of their household’s economy.
Business principals for families who live out of small businesses, financial management for farmers who live from their crops, budgeting for parents who have sent their children to work across the border.
These are some examples of how people can improve their lives through financial education and, as we said before, women get the most out of this by taking charge of their financial situation and becoming truly independent.
Financial literacy also helps women as they try to balance their budget, buy a home, fund their children’s education, or ensure an income for retirement. It helps them improve their quality of life and the ones around them, their families, communities, and country.
You can see how this type of education is changing for better women’s life in Haiti by going to our website womenfulvoice.org