GFDD & Funglode Host Presentation of a Research Study on Elimination of Violence against Women in the Dominican Republic before a Packed UN Auditorium

March 18, 2015

The Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and its sister organization in the Dominican Republic, Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode), in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations and the Dominican Political Observatory (OPD by its Spanish acronims) of Funglode, hosted on March 18 the presentation of a research study at the United Nations on The Elimination of Violence Against Women. The event,
which was organized in parallel to the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 59) was very well attended with close to 100 participants. The event helped to highlight that policies seeking to eliminate violence against women in the Dominican Republic were implemented on paper but not in practice. The keynote speaker, Ms. Diuris Betances, confirmed that women on average received
considerable less pay than men carrying out the same job.

The presentation formed part of the official launch of the GFDD/Funglode publication Status of Women: Studies and Reflections in the Dominican Republic and Latin America prepared by the Dominican Political Observatory
(OPD) of Funglode.

Yamile Eusebio, director of GFDD New York Office, opened the session by welcoming all participants to the event and stressing the importance of the topic, as well as its relevance to the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Ms Diuris Betances, professor and researcher at the OPD, provided the key note presentation which included extracts from the publication shedding light on the issue of violence against women in
the Dominican Republic. Despite progress made in providing institutional access to education and equal opportunities within the labor market for women in the country, Ms. Betances explained that this situation was mostly the case on paper but not implemented in practice.  She noted that on average women received “20% less pay despite carrying out the same jobs as men”.

Next Mr. Ronnie Habich Morales, first secretary of the Permanent Mission of
Peru to the United Nations, took the floor to provide some examples of best practices being implemented in his country on the topic of the elimination of violence against women. Mr. Morales explained that “education plays a key role in the eradication of violence” but that victims of violence should also speak out against the crimes committed against them, given that violence takes place in the household where it is “not only dangerous to women, but also
children”. He stressed that laws in themselves are not the solution to put an end to femicide, praising the role of the Ministry of Women in following up on these laws by providing women with access to support services throughout the country.

The event further benefitted from the input of civil society representatives, including Ms. Mary Shanthi Dairiam, women’s rights advocate and CEDAW expert, and Ms. Soon Young-Yoon, chair of the NGO Committee on
the Status of Women for New York. Ms. Dairiam emphasized that “violence against women is a global phenomenon which can be found in developed and developing countries alike”. Finding that a wage gap favoring men continues to exist despite advances in the education of women, Ms. Dairiam emphasized that laws are simply not enough to eradicate violence against women and pointed to a more embedded cause of the issue translated through culture and religion.  Ms. Soon
Young-Yoon emphasized the need for a change in policy given the fact that femicides continue to occur despite large amounts of money going into services that seek to eliminate the problem. She noted that there was a lack of data from developing countries regarding the key triggers for violence perpetrated by men.

Marc Jourdan, UN representative for GFDD moderated a very engaged question & answer session between the panelists and the audience. Participants inquired about a variety of gender equality issues such as the economic empowerment of women and violence as a question of power
distribution between men and women.

Ms. Eusebio concluded the session by thanking both the panelists and the audience for their participation, referring them to the OPD publication for further information, and soon to be available online for order at GFDD and OPD’s official websites.

About the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
The main focus of the session is on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including current challenges that affect its implementation and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Commission is undertaking a review of progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 20 years after its adoption at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. The review (Beijing+20)
also include the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly, the first five-year assessment conducted after the adoption of the Platform for Action, which highlighted further actions and initiatives.

The session also seeks to address opportunities for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women in the post-2015 development agenda.

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