The Haitian Civil Code stipulates that the minimum legal age of marriage is 15 years for women and 18 years for men and that marriage is defined as being between only one man and woman.
Although Haiti passed a Decree Modifying Offences of Sexual Aggression and Eliminating Discrimination against Women (Décret Modifiant le Régime des Agressions Sexuelles et Éliminant en la Matière les Discriminations Contre la Femme) in 2005, domestic violence was not addressed until the 2008 agreement between the Ministry of Women’s Status and Rights (Ministère à la Condition Féminine et aux Droits de la Femme, or MCFDF) and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. Although not a legal decree, and therefore not resulting in a modification of the Penal Code, the agreement expands the definition of gender-based violence, recognising that the following acts justify police intervention: physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the family, including battery, murder, marital rape, sexual assault, mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women; physical and psychological violence within the community, including rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere; pimping, forced prostitution, trafficking of women and girls.
The male-to-female sex ratio at birth in 2013 is 1.01 and for the working age population (15-64 years old) is 0.98. There is no evidence to suggest that Haiti is a country of concern in relation to missing women.
There are no legal restrictions on women’s right to own and manage land. However, in practice, it is very difficult for women to own land, given that few have the money to buy it and that so many live in unregistered consensual unions. In the event of separation or her partner’s death, a woman has no legal right to claim ownership of property accumulated jointly in an unregistered consensual union.
The major barrier to women’s access to public space comes in the form of threat of violence, as indicated in the physical integrity section. Following the 2010 earthquake, there have been reports of both increased sexual and physical violence against women as well as vigilante-style justice and other forms of exploitation of women in public spaces, including an increase of violence against women because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Bouchard, Jen Westmoreland (2009) Haiti. In Chuck Stewart (Ed.),The Greenwood Encyclopedia of LGBT Issues Worldwide, Volume 1, pp. 135-139.