Dominican Republic (CEDAW 01-03-2022)
The Committee considered the eighth periodic report of the Dominican Republic (CEDAW/C/DOM/8) at its 1867th and 1869th meetings (see CEDAW/C/SR.1867 and CEDAW/C/SR.1869), held on 17 and 18 February 2022.
E. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
Gender-based violence against women
- The Committee notes the measures in place in the State party to respond to gender-based violence against women, including increased victim support services such as temporary shelters, medical treatment and psychological and legal assistance. It also notes the adoption, in 2020, of the first economic reparations programme for women victims of domestic violence and fostering families of girls and boys orphaned by femicide and the Strategic Plan for a Life Free from Violence for Women. However, the Committee is concerned about the high incidence of gender-based violence against women in the State party and about the delay in adopting the draft law on violence against women, which would specifically criminalize femicide and other forms of gender-based violence against women. It also notes with concern the absence of a unified system and procedure for recording reports of gender-based violence against women, the limited number of prosecutions and convictions and the lenient sentences imposed on perpetrators of gender-based violence against women.
- In line with its general recommendation No. 35 (2017) on gender-based violence against women updating general recommendation No 19 (1992), and with the recommendations contained in its previous concluding observations ( CEDAW/C/DOM/CO/6-7 , para. 25), the Committee urges the State party to:
(d) Ensure that women and girls, including women with disabilities, refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant women, lesbian, bisexual, transgender women and intersex persons, who are victims of gender-based violence against women, have adequate access to medical, psychosocial and legal assistance and to victim and witness protection programmes;
- The Committee notes that the illiteracy rate among women is 13.5 per cent lower than among men. It also notes the introduction of extended school days, which is reaching 68 per cent of children and is resulting in a considerable increase in school enrolment rates and improved grades. It further notes the free meals policy. It welcomes the increased salaries, retirement pensions and health-care benefits for preschool, primary-level and secondary-level teachers, as well as the approval of the national plan for inclusive education (2019). However, the Committee remains concerned about gender stereotypes and discriminatory educational practices, including among teachers, gender-biased pedagogical resources and methodologies, and school culture, which have led to gender gaps in girls’ performance in certain subjects, including mathematics. The Committee also notes with concern that the planned measures related to age-appropriate sexuality education in schools, such as the development of curricula for comprehensive sexuality education from the preschool to the lower secondary level, the design and implementation of protocols for detecting and managing adolescent pregnancies and of related guidelines and training for teachers and psychologists, have not been implemented. It is also concerned about discrimination in schools against pregnant girls and teenagers, teenage mothers and girls who do not possess birth certificates, as well as about discrimination against lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex students.
- Recalling its general recommendation No. 36 (2017) on the right of girls and women to education, the Committee recommends that the State party promote the importance of girls’ education at all levels as a basis for their empowerment, and recommends that the State party:
(b) Develop policies to end discrimination in schools against pregnant girls and teenagers, teenage mothers and girls who do not possess birth certificates, as well as discrimination against lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex students to ensure that they can successfully complete their education;