Gender roles and family relationships in Haiti have their roots in the diverse cultural backgrounds of the populace. Broadly speaking, the two major cultural influences are African and French. At one extreme is the African heritage. Among the Afro-Haitians who occupy the three lowest classes in the Haitian society, Middle Class, Urban Low Class and Rural Peasantry, the African cultural heritage is still very strong. This is particularly evident in the areas of marital relationships, defined roles of each gender before and after marriage, types of marriages and the extended family system. At the other extreme you have the Franco-Haitians or mulattoes, who have embraced French heritage wholesale, and who occupy the elite upper class of Haitian society.
Rural Haiti is where the vast majority of Haitians live and the people are mostly Afro-Haitians. In these parts of Haiti, the twin influences of their African heritage and … Read More