18 April 2022

Why girls aren’t learning in the Dominican Republic?

In my beloved Quisqueya, girls deserve better. It’s Monday morning in a typical Dominican neighborhood and four girls wake up — but they’re not getting ready to go to school. One prepares breakfast for her older brother before he heads off to class and she gets ready for a day of chores. The other is too scared to walk to the nearest metro station…, Traditional expectations and cultural norms, In almost every Dominican home, girls and women are the ones responsible for house chores. Since I was a little girl, I’ve seen my female friends and cousins washing the dishes, cooking, cleaning the house and doing the laundry, while their brothers of the same age were playing video games or going out with their friends. Our society considers…, Teen pregnancy, Another problem preventing Dominican girls from achieving their dreams is teen pregnancy. In the Dominican Republic, one in four women between 20 and 49 years old has had a child before turning 18 and almost half of them had a child before 20 . At age 18, I’ve already seen girls I once played clapping games with get pregnant. The Dominican…, Poverty, lack of resources and deficiencies in the education system, A few months ago, I was participating in a virtual academic competition with students from across the country. At one point, the teacher of a little girl interrupted the judges to ask, “Sorry, can you please examine my student soon? She traveled two hours to get here as she doesn’t have access to the internet in her home.”  This is the reality of…, Gender-based harassment, Gender-based violence affects female university students’ ability to learn and feel safe at school. Due to insecurity on our streets, girls fear sexual assault on their way to class. 84.3% of women over 15 years old have been victims of violence in the streets. I’ve been catcalled by older (and old) men since I was 11 years old when walking to…