Three leaders of the Haitian women’s movement have been confirmed dead in the wake of the earthquake that hit the poor Caribbean nation on Tuesday January 12, CNN reported. Activist and author Myriam Merlet served as Chief of Staff of the Haitian Ministry for Gender and the Rights of Women and fought to raise women’s standing in Haiti and in North America. Her work focused on combating rape culture. She brought the acclaimed “Vagina Monologues” to Haiti. Lawyer and actress Magalie Marcelin founded the Kay Fanm non-profit organization to give refuge to rape and violence victims. 53-year-old Anne-Marie Coriolan was an advisor to the Haitian Ministry for Gender and the Rights of Women and created the Solidarite Famn Ayisyen (Solidarity with Haitian Women) organization to be a voice for Haitian women. Many worry for the fate of women in Haiti with three of its most prominent leaders in the country’s feminist movement now dead. “From where we stand, Taina Bien-Aime, executive director of women’s rights group Equality Now, told CNN. “The most critical and urgent issue is what, if any, contingencies the relief/humanitarian agencies are putting in place not only to ensure that women have easy access to food, water and medical care, but to guarantee their protection.” Get the latest updates on the situation in Haiti here. Read a first hand account of the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. Watch video to footage of the aftermath of the 7.0 quake.
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