SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.7 número4Mitigación del efecto de sales clorhídricas y sulfáticas en la germinación de Salicornia bigelovii (Torr.) por bacterias benéficas in vitroMonogéneos parásitos de Oreochromis spp., en punto de venta índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados




Links relacionados

  • No hay artículos similaresSimilares en SciELO


Revista mexicana de ciencias agrícolas

versión impresa ISSN 2007-0934

Rev. Mex. Cienc. Agríc vol.7 no.4 Texcoco may./jun. 2016



Contribution of rural women in community development in Haiti: Case Papaye Movement, Plateau Central, Haiti

Juline Pierre1 

José Alfredo Castellanos Suárez1  § 

Absalon Pierre2 

1 Universidad Autónoma Chapingo-Departamento de Sociología Rural. Carretera México-Texcoco km 38.5, Chapingo, Estado de México. C. P. 56230. México. Tel: 595-95-2-1627, ext. 5811, 5813. (

2 Institut Universitaire de Formation des Cadres. 09, Linz Harry Village, Avenue Mais Gaté 8, Port-au-Prince, Haïti. C. P. HT6120. Tel: 509 4204-3334/509 3778-6689. (


This work has as main objective to understand, through a basic investigatory process, the role of rural women, who participate in the peasant Movement Papaye- in community development in rural areas in Haiti to lay the groundwork and data necessary in a subsequent intervention of any national or international organization which aims to improve the living conditions of this category. The role of women, not only in overall percentage of the population, the issue of activities for the country's development is essential. They do not always play this role because gender issues that characterizes Haitian society for many years. In this sense, to help reduce poverty and achieve greater development and community organization in rural areas in Haiti, organized participation of women in all spheres is required. The participatory action research method to collect data and information about women through a semi-structured interview form was used to achieve the objective of this work. The results show that thanks to the participation of women within the organization, the community now has access to health, electricity, drinking water, communication such as roads and other modalities. The results show that women who are members of this organization are not victims of discrimination or violence within the movement. They can participate in all activities and play any role inside or outside the organization. They have a much better than some who are not members of the organization economic situation. Which they are not members of the organization have less access to credit, training, including victims of violence and discrimination within the community. The manuscript concludes that the participation of women within an organized community structure allows them to develop, understand and defend their rights, contributing to community development and reducing poverty in rural areas in Haiti.

Keywords: community organization; development; Haiti; participation; women


Este trabajo tiene como objetivo principal el entender, mediante un proceso indagatorio de base, el rol de las mujeres rurales -que participan en el Movimiento Campesino Papaye- en el desarrollo comunitario en zonas rurales en Haití, para sentar las bases y datos necesarios en una intervención posterior de cualquier organismo nacional o internacional que visa mejorar las condiciones de vida de esta categoría. El papel de las mujeres, no solo en porcentaje global de la población, en el tema de actividades para el desarrollo del país es fundamental. No siempre juegan este papel debido a problemas de género que caracteriza la sociedad haitiana desde muchos años. En este sentido, para colaborar a reducir la pobreza y alcanzar un mayor desarrollo y organización comunitaria en las zonas rurales en Haití, se requiere la participación organizada de las mujeres en todas las esferas. Para alcanzar el objetivo de este trabajo, se utilizó el método de investigación acción participativa para colectar datos e informaciones cerca de las mujeres a través de un formulario de entrevista semiestructurada. Los resultados revelan que gracias a la participación de las mujeres dentro de la organización, la comunidad tiene ahora acceso a la salud, a la electricidad, al agua potable, a la comunicación como lo son las carreteras y otras modalidades. Los resultados revelan que las mujeres que son miembros de esta organización no son víctimas de discriminación ni de violencia dentro del movimiento. Pueden participar en todas las actividades y jugar cualquier papel dentro o afuera de la organización. Tienen una situación económica mucho mejor que algunas que no son miembros de la organización. Las que no son miembros de la organización tienen menos acceso al crédito, a capacitaciones, incluso son víctimas de violencia y de discriminación dentro de la comunidad. El manuscrito concluye que la participación de las mujeres dentro de una estructura comunitaria organizada les permite desarrollarse, conocer y defender mejor sus derechos, contribuyendo al desarrollo de su comunidad y a la reducción de la pobreza en zonas rurales en Haití.

Palabras claves: desarrollo; Haití; mujeres; organización comunitaria; participación


According to the latest population census conducted by the Haitian Institute of Statistics and Informatics (IHSI, 2003), the Haitian population consists of 51% women and 49% men. Approximately 65% of this population lives in rural areas and depends on agriculture. The role of women to the country's development is essential. But the situation of women is tight in a society where machismo is very strong (FAO, 2011; Haiti Libre, 2012). In rural areas the situation is worse, but play an important role in the country's economy. According Alterpresse (2003), 49% of the active population of Haiti are women working in the agricultural sector. They are heads of households and in 26% of cases are single parent families in rural areas.

The emancipation of women in is until today a big challenge (Alterpresse, 2003), the struggle of women's organizations has allowed several changes. Over the past 25 years allows them to participate in the different levels of economic and socio-political life of the country as the tenure of President (by interim) Prime Minister, etc. Illiteracy, maternal mortality, the difficult economic situation, unemployment, are part of the major challenges for development or real emancipation of rural women and therefore, for the development of their environments (USAID, 2001).

It is important to note that not long ago, in Haitian society the tendency was to send children to school rather than girls. This situation leads to a higher percentage of illiteracy among women than among rural men (Colbert, 2013). Many also are those who believe that greater participation of women in all spheres of social life, economic, political, cultural and institutional country can change many things.

Many organizations and institutions start fighting for the recognition of the importance of women in the life of the world, a country and a community (IICA, 1980; UNESCO, 1982). You should find the best way to involve women in decision-making by a true community development and country (Dagenais and Piche, 1993).

This research is located in this context. Aims to generally discuss ways (such as trade, yard work, home, etc.) in that rural women of the community organizing movement of Papaye Plateau Central, Haiti, farmers contribute to the development of the organization, their communities and reducing poverty in them. According Montecino and Rebelleto (2011), the concept of gender appears as a term that helps to understand the unequal context in which the relations between men and women are given and solves some of the problems that emerged in the development of studies the woman. Speaking of gender, these authors say that means overcoming the conception of a sexual difference between men and women. However, over time this notion, according to them, only demarcates the biological basis for differentiating men and women and also emphasizes on a cultural basis.

Nicholson (2000) notes that gender is a strange word feminism. Although often it believed it has a clear and universal meaning, the truth is that is used at least in two different ways and in some respects, even contradictory. On the one hand, it emerged in contrast to the term sex, and so is often used, with the intention to separate what is social construction of what is a biological fact. Within this use it is understood that the term refers to behavior and personality traits while the body different realities. Gender and sex are two different things.


The methodological approach used in this paper is the qualitative approach. According to Hernandez et al. (2006), the qualitative approach sometimes referred to as naturalistic research, phenomenological, interpretative or ethnographic. It isused, first, to discover and refinere search questions. The method used is that of participatory action research (IAP). In addition, the ethnographic method, which is the analytical description or reconstruction of the scenarios and cultural groups used intact. According Park (2006), the IAP is a form of inquiry and research capabilities to deliver the poor and subject so they can transform their lives for themselves. IAP said that the same people investigate reality in order to transform their active participants. The IAP departs radically from traditional social research in both methodological and epistemological terms. Its objectives are to achieve a more just society where there are no people who suffer from not having a way to meet the essential needs of life such as food, clothing, housing and health; achieve a society in which all enjoy basic freedoms and human dignity (Park, 2006). The aim is both to support the oppressed to be independent, trust yourself and reach self-determination, and support to become self-sufficient (Park, 2006). The ultimate goal of the IAP is known to transform; always acts towards an end or a "why", this action is done from and the social base (Martin and Basagoiti, 2002).

From the perspective of the IAP, the population is the main agent of any social transformation and its active collaboration depend effective change of the situation in. This position therefore rejects the welfarism that prevails in most of the managed "from above" by a welfare state, a social institution or a technical team of professional programs.

Given the situation of women in Haiti in general and women Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP in French) in particular, the IAP seems the most appropriate type of research for our work. Indeed, women who are members of this organization or movement, they want to support to have better tools to participate in the development of themselves and their communities.

Integrative ethnography as Geertz

Cubillo Ferrada (2006) estimates that ethnography is considered as an own interpretative/qualitative research methodology in the social sciences, defined as an analytical description or reconstruction of the scenarios and cultural groups. Ethnography establishes relationships, selects the informants, transcribing texts, set genealogies trace maps of the area, keep a diary, etc.

Geertz (1987) says that ethnography is etymologically translated as the study of ethnicity and means analysis of the lifestyle of a race or group of individuals, by observation and description of what people do, how They behave and how they interact to describe their beliefs, values, perspectives, motivations and how they vary in different times and circumstances, i.e., describes the many forms of life of human beings.

Guber (2012) thinks that some of the most used tools that uses the ethnographic method are: observation. Participant observation. Open to depth interviews. Questionnaire. Stories of lives. Case studies (Guber, 2012).

Data collection was made through a semi-structured interview form in language "creole" to facilitate understanding. He applied it to 19 members to MPP women and 8 women leaders of the organization who are living in the community Papaye. The selection of women was made by the leaders of the organization that helped identify them in the area. It should be noted that if the organization is very large topic members are young people, women and men. In addition, not everyone living in the Papaye community but throughout the country. Then, he was interested only to members of the organization in the community Papaye representing the official center of the MPP.

The results and analysis of the fieldwork are presented. First is the information about the 19 women interviewed and who are members of the Movement of Papaye Peasants. Second, it presents the views of eight leaders of this organization.

Of women members of the Papaye organization

The 26% of women have less than 30 years. The 21% are between 30 and 40 years. The 26% range in 40 to 50 years. This reality is also at the country level where most of the population is young. We can say that there are many possibilities and opportunities for future development in the sense that young people are like, they can receive training to help them develop their communities.

The 21% of them are married. Only 11% of them are single. However, 68% of them are living in free union. It should be noted that none of them is divorced. The information is presented in the following illustration. This can help to impoverish them because they have no security in this type of situation.

The 21% of them have no children, although 53% of them are between 1 and 5 children and 26% of them between 5 and 10 children. At the country level, the average is 4 to 5 according to the latest population census of 2003 (IHSI, 2003). The high rate of members of a family in rural area can be a reason to impoverish the family.

Figure 1 Marital status of women interviewed and belonging to the peasant movement Papaye. 

53% of them have a job that can be permanent or temporary. This reality seems totally different from what is happening at the country level where most of the population does not have a job. This is a good indicator of benefit or the impact of the organization in reducing poverty.

Figure 2 Number of children of women interviewed Papaye Peasant Movement. 

Figure 3 Employment status of women interviewed in Papaye Peasant Movement. 

Culturally, 89% of them confirm that participate in many cultural activities such as the festivities of the community. Those who do not participate represent only 11%, if not participate in the festivities may be because of their religion, as in the case of Protestants. We found that 89% of them are Catholic. The 5.5% of them practice "Vudu or Vodou", only 5.5% of the women interviewed are protestant (baptist). This reality is a bit different from the reality of the country as regards the last two percentages. The Haitian population is very religious why not find anyone who vindicates as atheistic.

Table1 Religion of the women interviewed in the Papaye Peasant Movement. 

The high level of illiteracy at the country level is one of the indicators that makes an underdeveloped country. The interviews reveal that 32% of the Papaye Peasant Movement women have the primary level of study. The 42% of them have as high level of study, only 5% of the women interviewed were in college. Those who do not attend school and can neither read nor write represent 21%. In this group are more adults. However, it reflects a bit what is happening at the country level.

Reviews of some women members of the peasant movement Papaye on their participation in this organization, and community development

After meeting the general situation of these women, it was very important to understand these relationships. Therefore, in interviews or in this part of the interviews we focus a lot on the relationship between them and the participation of the organization and also with the development of their communities. We need a principle that all women interviewed are members of the Papaye Peasant Movement. The 37% of the women interviewed have more than 15 years of belonging to the MPP. The 31% are between 10 and 15 years in this organization. Only 16% are between 5 and 10 years. Those with less than 5 years in the organization represent 16%, women entering the MPP not go. They like to work in this movement and there are changes in your life because they have an economic level that allows them to respond to certain needs: food, clothing, sent their children to school.

Figure 4 Age of the women interviewed in the Papaye Peasant Movement. 

Economic activities such as agriculture, livestock and trade are the place where most women are. In these activities work 53% of the women interviewed. Those who work in some cultural activities represent 26%. Those who work as cooks, secretaries represent only 21%. Then, agriculture and trade are those that offer more work for women. At the country level, it is the same reality.

Table 2 Main activities of the women interviewed in Papaye Peasant Movement. 

The 42% claim to participate in all activities of MPP against 32% who do not participate in all activities. 26% say they participate, but not in all activities. Anyway, there is a level of participation of women in all activities and based on these findings, there is no discrimination in the MPP in terms of participation in the activities of this movement. Men and women have equal rights, equity, equality, favorable trading principles for the performance of gender. Although not all women participate in all activities, be a member of the organization in a way contributes to their development. 100% of them claim that their participation in the MPP contributes to their personal development and of course to his family.

Women's participation MPP and community development

According to them, thanks to the organization, now have: access to drinking water, access to electricity, access to health thanks to the construction of a clinic in the community, roads linking the major highways department and the country. This infrastructure development is leading indicator of participation of women in the organization and in the community. In interviews with women MPP, we asked about the advantages that being a member of this movement. Within these advantages, they listed to participate in the organization allows them know their rights, have access to lending money to business and low price, defend their rights, develop their agricultural and livestock units, have training or training on many topics interest them, men work as well.

Something very interesting is that 100% of them agree on how to operate the MPP. That is another indicator of success that has the MPP. The 95% of them say no activities they do not like. All activities of the organization contribute to their full development and community. We should mention that 100% of the women interviewed had not had an experience before entering or organization involved in the MPP. So this movement is that gives them all the skills they need and drives their development. In addition, conditions (housing, income, education, health) of many of them have been very bad before entering the MPP. The 58% of them have come in the MPP with their difficult living conditions (bad) against 11% who felt that their living conditions were good.

There are many differences among women who are members of the MPP and nonmembers. We present a summary of some differences between the two groups according to testimony: women who are members of the MPP have: job training, protecting facilities so that your family will not suffer hunger, loans for business, know their rights, they can participate fully in activities of the organization, they are very active. They were asked if their participation has been taken into account. 89% of them say no against 11% who say yes. That means the problem of participation of women in decision- making concerning them still exists in many organizations and communities.

The 50% of women think that if there are activities that are performed only men as are 50% of them think that the organization no gender in the distribution of tasks. When asked if women play major roles in the organization and in the community, they say 100% that if they play and can play any position in the organization and its community. They may be eligible to hold any political, economic, cultural and social function. The women Papaye Peasant Movement do different activities to contribute to the development of their communities. These activities can take various forms such as: economic activities: artisanal forest agriculture, trade, livestock, etc.; social and cultural activities have parties, education or training, road construction, creation of sources of drinking water (well, etc.), construction of hospitals, electricity, etc.; political activities: participation in elections of the community; environmental activities: protection of water, soil, biodiversity, air, etc.

The way women are treated in the MPP interested us a lot. 84% of them say they are well treated against 16% who say the deal is more or less well. None of them revealed a bad treatment at the MPP. However, the level of the community or local, most claim that women are victims of violence, theft, etc. The latter situations are almost general throughout the country. What is needed women to fully take their rights in the Papaye community as they themselves are: quality education, more work, dialogue with stakeholders in the organization and community support to go to school, respect their rights, more access to health.

Results arisen analysis and interviews of some leaders of the peasant movement Papaye

There are women responsible in all areas of the organization, which is a good indicator index or participation, we interviewed a group of 8 women who are responsible for the MPP. Here are profiles of them, what they are doing and their opinion on the participation of women regarding their development and that of their community. We interviewed 8 women who work or are part of the executive committee of the MPP. They are responsible for many areas. The 63% are between 30 and 40 years and 37% of them are between 40 and 50 years. The 50% of them are between 10 and 15 years old at the MPP. The 37.5% of them have more than 15 years as members. Only 12.5% of them have less than 5 years since we are members of this peasant movement. We found that in the MPP, women can occupy any position. This interview revealed that there are women who are coordinators, administrators, secretaries, etc.

To find the conditions to involve the MPP as a woman and as a member, it was necessary to ask the ruling requirements or criteria for applicants. According to them, to be a member of MPP, particularly women must: be 18 years, part of a mixed group or a group of women, join a group to receive training. The 100% of these leaders say they love the way women participate in the MPP, there is some kind of discrimination within. In each activity that makes the organization, 50% of women are asked. The Papaye organization promotes equality between men and women. The women MPP do many activities within the organization: participating in group meetings, produce vegetables, participate in the meeting, held at the world earth day, women make trade, participate in cultural activities, participate in all community development activities.

According to them, there is a good relationship between men and women in the organization because all activities are 50% women and 50% of men in the MPP no discrimination between men and women, there is a good atmosphere in this regard. In regard to the rights of men and women no big difference, participation of women in the economic, political, social and cultural development of the organization is a good indicator. The 100% of leaders say that. 100% of them also claim that no discrimination as regards the type of jobs that only men can do that women cannot. Therefore, in the MPP, men and women can be: president (a), coordinator (a), director (a), secretary.

According to interviews with leaders, 100% of them confirm that the participation of women Papaye contributes to the development community. They claim that the more they participate, the more they can contribute to a better development of the Papaye community. What it is directly linked with the hypothesis posed at the beginning of this work. According to the interviewed leaders, women participate in major decisions of the community. The 75% of them confirmed that against 25% of them think that women participate more or less in major decisions of the community. According to 100% of these leaders, women participate in the political life of the community through elections. Also, they confirm that participate in the economic life of the community in the development of agriculture, livestock, trade, etc. Through education projects, health and development of roads, electricity, potable water, say those women contribute socially to the development of their community. Culturally also involved in the development of the area through organizing parties, promoting Haitian culture as voodoo, dances, food, etc.

Haitian society is a society where machismo is very strong. The woman is considered as inferior. Their rights are not always respected. In the labor market, they are victims. According to the leaders of the MPP, there is a lot of discrimination in the community. The women are victims of violence, theft, etc. Although relations between men and women are better now thanks to the training they receive, there are many things that must be done. Indeed, forms of discrimination of which they are victims forbid them to participate fully in the development of their community. For example they say that at home women have problems with their husbands and cannot work well in the organization and in the community. In the community of men they think they are superior. Then, there is gender equality only in the organization but not in the community by those leaders.


This research on rural women and their relationship to community development in Haiti, particularly women of the Movement of Peasants of Papaye, Central Plateau, Haiti,

had as its overall objective to understand the role of rural women in community development and reducing poverty in rural areas in Haiti. In particular, this study was specific objectives describe the situation of women Papaye Peasants Movement, to discuss how their participation contributes to the development of themselves, their organization and their community. Explaining the proposals made for better performance of these women in the organization and in the area. This paper is the hypothesis that the emancipation of rural women contributes to reducing rural poverty and the country. Also, the more women participate more they can contribute to the development of themselves and their communities.

Thus, field studies were conducted with women members of the MPP and leaders to better understand their situation. The results of the fieldwork conclude that the participation of women in the Papaye organization is very important, because participation can perform many activities such as the gardening, trade, business, livestock activities, among others. These activities are very important in the case of development of a rural area, they participate in the festivities, produce different crafts to sell and earn money. The participation of women allows them to receive training in various fields such as: coordinators, administrators, school principals, secretaries etc. Through to its participation in the organization, now have electricity, potable water and a clinic. They have access to borrowing money from the organization that allows them to send children to school.

I must say that the participation of women in the organization Papaye is a good tool to fight poverty in this community. All the women interviewed confirmed that if they participate can contribute to the development of themselves and their communities. There is a paradox worth noting because they are victims of discrimination in the papaye community, change within the Movement of Peasants of Papaye there is no discrimination. For example, in the community of men they think they are superior, they have no respect for women. Women want to make decisions for the life of the community without the support Papaye or notice of men. It is very important to say that women have many problems. They are victims of physical violence, theft, poor quality education and lack access to health.

Literatura citada

Alterpresse. 2003. Société haïtienne fermée à l’émancipation de la femme. [ Links ]

Beauvoir, S. 2011. El segundo sexo. [ Links ]

Colbert, R. 2013. Haïti-Paysannerie: bilan et perspectives du Mouvement paysan papaye. [ Links ]

CE. 2000. Participación de las mujeres en el desarrollo rural: un futuro cierto para la Europa rural. Comunidades europeas. [ Links ]

Cubillo, F. 2006. Etnografía un enfoque para la investigación de weblogs en Biblioteconomía y Documentación. [ Links ]

Dagenais, H. and Piché, D. 1993. Women, feminism and development. Canadian research institute for the advancement of Women. Canada, 449 p. [ Links ]

FAO. 1984. Estudios sobre la reforma agraria y la pobreza rural. FAO. Italia, Roma. 120 p. [ Links ]

FAO. 1992. Situación jurídica de la mujer rural en diecinueve países en América Latina. [ Links ]

Guber, R. 2012. La etnografía método campo y reflexividad. Siglo XXI Editores S. A. Buenos Aires, Argentina. 160 p. [ Links ]

Geertz, C. 1987. La interpretación de las culturas. Gedisa Editores. Barcelona, España. 387 p. [ Links ]

Haiti Libre. 2012. Haiti-social: ONU Femmes prône légalité et l’autonomisation des femmes haïtiennes. [ Links ]

Hernández, S. R.; Fernández-Collado, C. y Baptista, L. P. 2006. Metodología de la investigación. 4a edición. Mc Graw Hill. México. 600 p. [ Links ]

IHSI. 2003. 4e Récensement Général de la population et de l’Habitat. IHSI, Port-au-Prince. [ Links ]

IICA. 1980. Participación de la mujer en el desarrollo rural de Americana Latina. CIDIA. Costa Rica. 76 p. [ Links ]

INAFED. 2014. La participación social. [ Links ]

Martín, P. y Basagoiti, M. 2002. La investigación-acción participativa como metodología de mediación e integración socio-comunitaria. comunidad/6/documentos_investigacion.pdf. [ Links ]

Montecino-José, R. L. (sin fecha). Conceptos de género y desarrollo. pdf. [ Links ]

Nicholson, L. 2000. La interpretación de género. UNAM-FES Aragón. DF, México. 120 p. [ Links ]

Park, P. 2006. Qué es la investigación-acción participativa? [ Links ]

Poncela-Fernández, A. M. 1995. Participación política: las mujeres en México al final del milenio. El colegio de México. D. F., México. 253 p. [ Links ]

PNUD. 1998. Informe sobre el desarrollo humano. Ediciones Mundi-Prensa. España, Madrid. 147 p. [ Links ]

UNESCO. 1982. La femme rurale en Haïti et dans la Caraïbe: Tradition et innovation. UNESCO. Haïti. 367 p. [ Links ]

USAID. 2001. Mortalité maternelle et statut de la femme en Haïti. [ Links ]

Received: January 2016; Accepted: April 2016

Creative Commons License Este es un artículo publicado en acceso abierto bajo una licencia Creative Commons