Desde octubre 2020 trabajo con el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Instituto de Dominicanos y Dominicanas en el Exterior (INDEX) temas de Vinculación y Codesarrollo de la diáspora. En enero 2022 nos llegó la noticia de que nuestro equipo junto al Ministerio de la Mujer de la Rep. Dominicana resultamos subcampeones en la categoría de Innovadores de la comunidad del Global Public Service Team Award 2022 con el Proyecto de “Orientación Legal y Psicológica a las Mujeres Dominicanas en el Exterior”.
Es un gran privilegio para mi compartirles que para la materialización de este proyecto, trabajé con los equipos en la ideación, diseño y la posterior nominación que nos llevó a ganar el reconocimiento.
recientemente Apolitical ha publicado mi community post que explica porqué este servicio era tan necesario e importante. A continuación el post íntegro en su idioma original:
Tackling gender-based violence and discrimination against Dominican women
How a legal and psychological orientation service is helping Dominican women abroad
This post is written by Sheilly Núñez, director of liaison and co-development at the Vice Ministry for Dominican Communities Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic.
The INDEX (Institute de Dominicanos y Dominicanas en el Exterior), the Vice Ministry for Dominican Communities Abroad and the Ministry of Women were awarded as runners-up in the Community Innovators Category in Apolitical’s Global Public Service Team Award 2021 for jointly developing a legal and psychological orientation service for Dominican women abroad. This article provides some background to the project.
- The problem: Encourage Dominican women abroad to confront gender-based violence.
- Why it matters: Dominican women living overseas are positive agents of change who need to feel heard and empowered by public institutions.
- The solution: The Legal and Psychological Orientation Service for Dominican Women Abroad.
It is estimated that more than 54.2% of Dominican communities abroad are made up of women, the majority of whom have migrated to escape situations of violence, due to economic needs or in search of better job opportunities.
The gender of the migrant person influences their migration experience and it is well known that women are vulnerable and at greater risk of becoming victims of gender-based violence.
In their new countries of residence, these risks are sometimes greater than those they left behind. Some women are mistreated, discriminated or in a worst-case scenario, can become victims of international human trafficking and smuggling networks. All of these situations can affect their development, self-esteem and mental health, aspects often ignored and relegated to the background of attention, but essential for the full development of the human being.
In the short term and despite the risks, Dominican women moving overseas can become positive agents of change for their families, to whom they contribute by sending remittances and products back home. However, in their new countries of residence, they may find themselves exposed to discrimination, mistreatment, and the economic, social, and labour impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which can also affect their development, self-esteem and mental health. They may also face cultural barriers and often need to learn to communicate in unknown languages or adapt to new cultural codes.
An innovative alliance
With this in mind, the INDEX and The Ministry of Women of Dominican Republichave established an innovative alliance to create the Legal and Psychological Orientation Service for Dominican Women Abroad. Through this service, it is ensured that diaspora women have free access to Dominican lawyers who can guide them on pending legal issues in their country of origin, other basic guidance in their migration process and information of institutions that can help if they become victims of violence in their country of residence. Dominican psychologists are also available, who understand their culture and backgrounds and offer free therapy sessions to assist them in their language, supporting these women to feel heard and empowered.
This service is offered through the website www.asistencia.mujer.gob or by calling or messaging the number 829-421-3242 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Dominican time.
During its first stage, it will be available in the United States, a country that features the largest number of Dominican diaspora.
This alliance between public institutions demonstrates the commitment of the Dominican State to provide assistance to Dominican women, regardless of the country in which they reside.
(Image Credit: Unsplash)