Three Women’s Leaders Among Those Lost in Haiti

Jan 26, 2010

Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin and Anne Marie Coriolan, three key founders of some of Haiti’s most effective advocacy organizations working on behalf of women and girls died this month in the country’s devastating earthquake.

Merlet was a founder of Enfofamn, an organization that raises awareness about women through media, collects stories and works to honor their contributions. V-Day founder and activist Eve Ensler dubbed Myriam Merlet a “Vagina Warrior” and told CNN that Merlet was “very bold” in insisting that Ensler bring “The Vagina Monologues” to Haiti. Merlet also helped establish safe houses for women in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien.

Magalie Marcelin established Kay Fanm, an organization that deals with domestic violence, offering services and shelter to women, and making micro loans. Marcelin was a lawyer and actress.

Anne Marie Coriolan was founder of Solidarite Fanm Ayisyen (Solidarity with Haitian Women, or SOFA), an advocacy and services organization. She was best known for her work as a political organizer who helped bring rape to the forefront of Haitian courts.

Merlet and Coriolan served as top advisers to the women’s rights ministry.

V-Day is initiating a Haiti Rescue Fund to support the V-Day Haiti Sorority Safe House in Port Au Prince. The Safe House provides shelter to women survivors of violence and their children, as well as psychological, legal and medical support. To donate to the V-Day Safe House in Haiti, click here.