Nelson Espinal: Do not underestimate Dominican women

“Women will make the change happen, or there will not be change,” writes Nelson Espinal Báez in an op-ed piece on Wednesday, 7 April in Diario Libre. He is an expert on negotiations.

He explains it was Dominican women who led the Marcha Verde movement in 2017. The movement was ignored by the then ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) but planted the seeds for a change in Dominican complacency with government. Young women led the Plaza de la Bandera crusade, the big turning point for youth involvement in politics.

Espinal writes that women are taking control of national destiny and the cry for an end to corruption, impunity and social change already translated into the support that led the opposition party to win the 2020 general elections. Espinal stresses: “It was not the other way around.”

He explains today’s ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) politicians capitalized and developed its campaign strategy on the promise of restoring rights, transparency in justice and transcendental institutional changes. He makes the remarks now that the male-majority Congress is taking steps contrary to what was promised.

[After taking a stand for years of backing the three grounds of abortion when opposition in Congress, all of the sudden the PRM, now in control of both houses of Congress, has refused to decriminalize abortion in the Penal Code, and refuses to approve the globally-accepted three grounds for abortion, bending to pressures from the higher echelons of the Christian and Catholic churches. A Gallup poll showed 69% of the population backs the grounds.]

Espinal writes: “In our social blindness as a nation, we continue to deny our feminine side, we continue to deny women’s rights, as a way of exorcising our fears, insecurities and our weaknesses.”

Read more in Spanish:
Diario Libre

8 April 2021