Unicef: It’s tough to be a girl in the Dominican Republic

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) presented on occasion of the International Day of the Girl on Monday, 11 October 2021 the grim situation of young girls in the Dominican Republic.

Rosa Elcarte Lopez, representative for Unicef in the Dominican Republic, spoke during the event marking the International Day of the Girl on the findings of a recent Unicef study that show in the Dominican Republic only 56% of children live with their both parents, and 26% live only with their mother. The same study reveals that only 10% of parents get involved with games and activities of their children under five years old in the Dominican Republic.

A new law was passed banning child marriage, but sexual abuse stories continue to happen every day. The courts have yet to sentence the first person for violating of the child marriage law. In the Dominican Republic, teenage pregnancy is one of the main causes of school desertion.

According to data from the Enhogar-MICS 2019 survey, in the Dominican Republic, 20% of young women have their first child before the age of 18. The percentage increases to 34% for the poorest and 49% among those who only finish primary school. 2% of young women will have had a child before the age of 15, a statistic that reflects most often situations of abuse, incest and sexual violence.

On the positive side, in the Dominican Republic, Unicef has allied with the “Queens of the Caribbean,” the senior national volleyball team that is an example of a win-win situation for girls becoming women during their career as top athletes to encourage more girls to develop their true potential.

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12 October 2021