The Dominican Republic’s battle for women’s rights

In well-developed countries, women face problems with discrimination and abuse. In the Dominican Republic, women’s rights take on a much deeper meaning. In recent years the Dominican Republic has switched from a heavily agricultural based economy, to a more modern and industrial based economy. Even with modern changes the country still faces extreme discrimination against women.

Legislation has been put in place in the past few years; however due to lack of funding, has not been enforced. Such legislation includes a National Plan of Gender Equality. This plan was supposed to start over 6 years ago and end in 2017, but because of budget problems, it was never implemented

Additionally, The Ministry of Women’s Affairs has the second smallest budget in the Dominican government, while the Women’s Advocate Office does not even hold a budget.

Without these programs being funded, the Dominican Republic has seen an extreme raise in domestic violence against women as well as femicide.

“The term “femicide” is used to describe the killings of women and girls because of their gender.” –

According to the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights, 20% of women aged between 15 and 49 have experienced some form of physical violence in their life and 30% of married women or those in relationships have suffered emotional, physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husband or partner

After receiving these alarming statistics about the abuse rates of women in the Dominican Republic, the Centro de Investigación para la Acción Femenina (CIPAF) has put many programs in place to eliminate gender violence against women and create gender equality. To learn more about with CIPAF does please read this or visit

-Maria Harper


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