In 2010 the government approved an article in the Dominican constitution that states “the right to live is inviolable from its conception to natural death”. The decision made was biased by a paternalist- pro-Catholicism state. Making abortion illegal (punishable from 2 to 5 years in jail to both the practitioner and who is getting the procedure done) makes of underground- patio abortions an everyday practice which put at risk the lives of women that cannot afford to fly out of the country to get the abortion done in a decent hospital or clinic. Because of this and other health/educational issues, teenage pregnancy, maternity and natal mortality has risen in the past years.
Adding to this is the fact that in Dominican Republic there’s a precarious “sex-education” program which is given either on the last two years or last year of High school, making taboos and myths around sexuality since is a matter that schools address lightly and it is not even an open subject to address at home.
The more teenage girls have unplanned pregnancy, the less likely they and their sons and daughters are getting out of poverty. Thus, female sexuality is directly linked to the poverty circle. Without sex education for girls, the whole country could never reduce poverty.
It is important to empower women with knowledge around their sexuality and awareness of the reality of the country’s situation directly affects Dominican women and families.
The first part would be a dialogue between women of a certain community (this one could be Gonzalo, a poor rural community that sits in the outsides of the city of Santo Domingo) and us to get a hold of the present knowledge of sexuality, hygiene and health that they have. This way we can also address their concerns and have a general picture of how we can break down the information for easy understanding and develop a campaign that they can manage and make their own. This process is called a community-based participatory research. From it, we can design a program that would elevate the community’s quality of life through female sex education
When the campaign is ready, the women and men of this community will have the information necessary for empowering members of their own community using the graphical language or/and word of mouth.
This would be a model to use in other communities: dialogue with the people, developing a campaign and empowering the members to endure the information and acquired knowledge.
Most of the work being done by NGOs and governmental policies are developed without taking in consideration that the information has to endure and what is the language used in rural or communities with no formal education. People need to understand the importance of this cultural knowledge in their own way and keep this information moving even after the campaign is over.