The International Traders of Haiti: The Madam Sara

This document is based on a study executed in Haiti in January 1989 by the Consultant, Donna Plotkin. It responds to subregional concerns about the lack of data relating to women’s economic contribution to development. This study is part of the project “The Establishment of a Data Base on Women’s Participation in Social and Economic Change, Phase II” funded by the Government of the Netherlands.

The Women in Development Unit (WID) of the Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC), initiated activities on the subject of women traders in the Caribbean in 1984. The project is regarded as a priority area in the work programme, has been endorsed by the Member Governments of the Caribbean Development and Co-operation Committee (CDCC) at its eighth session held in 1984 and further supported at its ninth and tenth sessions held in Trinidad and Tobago in 1985 and 1987.

This document has been consolidated by the Consultant Monique Lagro. The photographs in the document were taken by the Consultant, Nancy Schneider.

For consistency all prices are quoted in United States dollars, the official exchange rate since 1919 being 5.00 Gourdes to US$1.00. Throughout the document all United States currency that had to be purchased by the traders was obtained at a premium of 22 percent which reflected the parallel market rate at mid- January 1989.

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