Allow us to express our gratitude to the Secretary General for the report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and its consequences.
The Dominican Republic associates itself with the interventions made by the Plurinational State of Bolivia, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, as well as the statement made by Costa Rica on behalf of the CELAC.
In the Dominican Republic, like in other countries in the world, the impact that the Beijing Declaration has had in the last 20 years and its Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women is evident in the lives of women.
The inclusion of the rights and interests of women, in a explicit way in the legal texts of the Dominican Republic, is one of the most transcendental steps taken to achieve gender parity in our society.
Similarly, the adoption of the public policy for the prevention and punishment of violence against women, inside and outside the home, is one of our banners.
As such, many sectors have supported this legislation, through educational seminars and media coverage, and social mobilization in favor of the Secretary General's campaign "UNITE TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN". Also, it may be recalled that the Dominican Republic was the country that proposed at the General Assembly, the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, yearly each 25th of November of each year.
The establishment of the quota of 25% of electoral representation of women for the first time in the electoral law, and later, the adoption of a 33% share at the municipal and congressional level, are one of the greatest achievements of political representation of women in our Nation. Today, women in our country, with 50.68%, surpass men in the electoral roll, indicating that the vote of women is decisive.
At present, Dominican women are widely represented both in government and business. As an example, in the last 10 years the Dominican Republic has had two women Vice Presidents and a President of the Senate and of the National Assembly, as well as several women Judges in the Dominican High Judicial System.
In the context of the protection of labor rights of women, the Dominican Republic maintains its recognition and support at the constitutional level and this has been stated on several occasions within the frame of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
In terms of Education, the Government has allocated 4% of the Gross Domestic Product to education, which has motivated the increase of school infrastructure, better qualified professors and thus the opportunities for a better future for men and women. Also, the Government has also initiated the plan QUISQUEYA LEARNS WITH YOU, to eradicate illiteracy in the country. It is expected that next year the Dominican Republic will be declared by UNESCO as a country free of illiteracy.
Our government encourages the development of women in the rural areas, and as measures implemented in this regard, we can mention the creation of Small and Medium Enterprises leaded on 80% by single mothers, and the establishment of the Solidarity Banks, which provide credit and microcredit to women entrepreneurs.
On the issue of Solidarity Banks, in the two years our Presidents’ current Administration, the Government has allotted $1,300 million Dollars, of which 65% has been given to women under the age of 50. This program is leaded by a woman.
In the PROGRAM "SURPRISE VISITS" undertaken by President Danilo Medina in recent times, women have also been a fundamental axis and a major beneficiary. With this, the Dominican Government seeks to work so that our population can come out of poverty with alternative programs that support entrepreneurship and creativity, at the service of opportunities for growth and prosperity of families.
The Dominican Republic, in addition to our multiannual contribution for a period of five years to the basic budget of the Entity, collaborates for the maintenance of the Headquarters of UN-WOMEN in the Dominican Republic, consisting of a national office and a global center for gender training. This center was created with great expectations and at present is receiving promises of support from some Member States. We hope that with this collaboration the Global Center can report within a short period on the implementation of an important agenda of programs and activities.
I would not like to end my statement without paying tribute, once again, to the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN WOMEN, an institution within the System that has come to represent the fundamental and necessary tool to assist States in the topics of gender equality and empowerment of women worldwide. Our country appreciates the extraordinary work and the progress made by the team of UN WOMEN and is pleased that many States have decided to increase the level of their contributions to this important entity.
Mr. President and distinguished delegates,
As a country concerned about the issues related to Women, and as a tireless actor in the long struggle for their advancement and accomplishments, we wish to reiterate the political will of the Dominican Republic for full, inclusive and participatory citizenship. Recognizing that violence against women is an obstacle for the fulfillment of all human rights and in consequence, in the entire citizenship.