With UN support, Haitian women mobilize as election candidates

20 July 2005

Following up on a United Nations seminar, a group of Haitian women have launched a support network for women candidates in the upcoming elections in the impoverished Caribbean country.

"Haitian women in politics needed reinforcement of their capacities to be able to engage in the electoral process with more self-confidence, notably as candidates," said Nadine Puechguirbal, of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) Men/Women Parity Bureau, which organized the seminar on the issue earlier this month.

Some 40 women yesterday officially launched the RFCG, the French acronym for Network of Women Candidates to Win. The elections, scheduled for October, are among the many sectors in which MINUSTAH is seeking to help Haiti since the Security Council set it up more than a year ago after unrest forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to leave the country.

"MINUSTAH has enabled women to overcome obstacles in connection with the election campaign," Magdala Michel, one of the participants, said.