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Dominican Republic


In the Dominican Republic, 20.2% of men are unemployed but this figure more than doubles in regards to women- 49.5% of whom are unemployed (4). Women also make 44% less than men (4) meaning that they have less financial freedom. In 2004, the majority of people working in the free trade zone were women (4).


One major women’s health problem in the Dominican Republic is anaemia, as 26.4% of women aged 15 to 49 suffer with this. High cases of anaemia can be recognised in correlation with poor infant health at birth, as 11.3% of infants in the Dominican Republic are born underweight. Obesity is also a significant issue that the country is working to resolve. 38.1% of women are obese, 13.6% have diabetes and 18% have high blood pressure. Per 1000 people, there are only 1.56 medical doctors and 1.38 nurses and midwives. (6)

Gender-Based Violence

Violence against women is a very significant problem in the Dominican Republic. 35% of women have been the victims of violence at the hands of a partner (1) and of the 1,078 femicides committed between the years 2005 and 2015, more than half were carried out by the woman’s current or former partner (1). Additionally, 80% of rape victims were assaulted by a current or former partner (1). Despite these statistics, in 2010, only 66 offenders were convicted of violent crimes towards women out of the 476 cases that were looked at by a judge and the massive 10,000 reports that were made (4). Between the years 2003 to 2011, there were also only 3 prison sentences given out for child exploitation (4). 11% of pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 19 have been victims of violence throughout their pregnancy (1) and cases of domestic violence against women in the capital city of Saint Domingo are high (there were 15,000 between 2019 and 2020) (3). It is estimated that one in ten Dominican women have suffered from violence at some point in their lives (1).

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

With a population of about 10 million, gender-based violence is the fourth leading cause of death among women in the Dominican Republic. In the span of six years, 1,383 women and girls were killed [2] – 783 at the hands of a current or former partner. But, according to the NGO Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women's Rights (Cladem) [3], of 10,000 complaints in 2010, just 476 cases of violence against women received judgment, with only 66 convicted offenders." [4] In the last year authorities have issued over 15,000 interim protection orders, made more than 1,000 arrests and inspected nearly 800 homes.[5] In 2010, 62,000 cases of violence against women were reported in the Dominican Republic. Just four per cent of these went on legal trial. [6]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.

Current law and policy

The Dominican Republic commits to expand and strengthen programmes to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. The Dominican Republic commits to take concrete actions to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of all its national plans, projects and programmes targeting violence against women and girls. Announcing the country’s support for the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, the President signed a Declaration of Commitment of Institutions that integrates the National Commission on the Prevention and Struggle against Domestic Violence (CONAPLUVI).

The Dominican Republic commits to reform criminal prosecutions and prevention policies so as to ensure greater access to justice for women, and sets a concrete deadline of December 2013 for the establishment of a more efficient criminal complaints system to address violence against women and girls. The Dominican Republic further commits to strengthen its public health policies and plans, expand and improve prevention programmes as well as gender and human rights education in all institutions of the State.

The Ministry of Women has launched a new national campaign “You can: Unite Now to End Violence against Women” to raise awareness and publicise a 24-hour hotline established for women at risk of domestic violence. The Government of Dominican Republic has also launched the new “Men promise: fewer every day until we reach zero” public awareness campaign for men, with the end goal of halving the country’s rate of Femicide.


Whilst the country’s literacy rate is 92%, the education system in the Dominican Republic is thought to be one of the least effective in the world. Only 2% of the GDP is spent on education, and 1 in 4 girls drop out of school due to pregnancy. Moreover 40% of all students drop out before the eighth grade and the students who do go on to complete high school and attend university, often reach this stage at a sixth grade reading level. (5).

Political representation of women

28% of seats in the chamber of deputies are held by women (2) and women currently make up 27.89% of members of parliament (7). This demonstrates a significant increase, as in 2015, only 20.77% of seats in parliament were held by women (7).

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