16 Days of Activism: Meet Marjorie Lafontant, Haiti
an article by Nobel Women's Initiative
Video: Marjorie Lafontant
Each year since 1991, tens of thousands of
activists from around the world have taken part in
the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence
Campaign. The campaign’s central messages –
women’s rights are human rights and violence
against women constitutes a violation of human
rights – have been a rallying call of the women’s
movement. For these 16 days, Nobel Women’s
Initiative is spotlighting stories about women
activists around the globe.
click on photo to enlarge
Marjorie Lafontant is the Executive Director of
Femmes En Action Contre La Stigmatisation Et La
Discrimination Sexuelle (FACSDIS), an organization
that fights against the discrimination and sexual
violence faced by LGBT people in Haiti.
Marjorie empowers the LGBT community by holding
workshops that inform women and men of their
rights and how to defend them. Through her
organization, Marjorie has fostered a safe space
where women meet regularly to discuss personal and
rights based issues, providing a supportive
As an openly lesbian woman living in Haiti,
Marjorie can personally attest to the violence,
discrimination and injustice the women of her
community must deal with on a daily basis. LGBT
women are often disowned by their families and
shunned by society, and denied basic services and
employment. Violent attacks where perpetrators
rape, stab or beat LGBT women are all too common.
Marjorie encourages survivors of violence to speak
out and report the attacks to the authorities.
Once a survivor has filed a report, FACSDIS
accompanies them throughout the judicial process.
Impunity for perpetrators is rampant in Haiti’s
justice system. But Marjorie is determined to
bring justice to the LGBT community and empower
women survivors, one report at a time.
Marjorie’s leadership has fueled a movement of
empowered, brave LGBT women. Her work to defend
and promote LGBT rights in Haiti is especially
critical given this year’s protests against a gay
marriage resolution and the LGBT community in
general. Despite this challenge, Marjorie is more
committed then ever to ensuring that all of Haiti
understands that gay rights are human rights, and
that all members of her community deserve and
receive dignity and respect.
[Note: Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter
for this article.]
Question(s) related to this article:
Where in the world can we find good leadership today?,
* * * * *
Latest reader comment:
Once again, as they have done now each year since 2009, the Nobel Women's Initiative provides biographies of 16 women leaders involved in local action for peace and justice around the world, and in particular to stop violence against women. Last year's biographies were listed in the CPNN discussionboard.