Economy May 25, 2023 | 10:43 am

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For every 100 poor men in the Dominican Republic, there are 136 women in the same condition.

Santo Domingo.- According to the Monetary Poverty 2022 bulletin published by the Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Development (MEPyD), for every 100 poor men in the country, there are 136 women in the same situation. This reveals the growing social economic inequality and the gender gap in the quality of life in the Dominican Republic, with women being the most affected, despite their higher participation in the workforce.

Currently, there are 2,942,255 individuals of both genders living in general poverty, surviving on 242 pesos per day (equivalent to 7,270 pesos per month), which only allows for meeting a portion of their basic needs, such as food. Additionally, there are 401,283 people living in extreme poverty, managing just 115 pesos per day (3,435 pesos per month).

The report highlights that the poverty rate for women is 29.37%, while for men, it is 25.84%. Both genders experienced a decrease in overall poverty rates, with women’s poverty rate declining by 3.5 percentage points and men’s by 2.5 percentage points. The reduction in monetary poverty for women is attributed to their increased participation in the labor market in 2022, primarily through informal jobs.

Economist Lillian Rodríguez points out that women face challenges in overcoming poverty due to factors such as limited access to formal employment and the burden of unpaid domestic work, which accounts for over 50% of their physical effort and time. Based on the National Survey of Multiple Purpose Homes (Enhogar -2016), it is revealed that women work an average of 50 hours per week, including 19 hours of paid work and 31 hours of unpaid work. In contrast, men work 47 hours per week, with 37 hours dedicated to paid work and only 10 hours to unpaid activities.

The Minister of Economy, Pável Isa, recently emphasized the reduction of poverty at all levels in the country, thanks to job recovery and the growth of sectors such as tourism and construction. The statistics from the poverty bulletin indicate that the number of employed individuals in 2022 reached 4.7 million, including both formal and informal employment. This reflects the generation of 130,619 new jobs, representing a 2.9% year-on-year growth, slightly surpassing the employment figures for 2019.

Formal employment saw growth with 81,717 new jobs in 2022, including 44,406 for men and 37,311 for women. Overall, formal employment experienced a growth rate of 4.3%. However, compared to the pre-pandemic period, formal employment has not fully recovered and remains 4.7% below the 2019 levels, with men facing greater challenges in this regard.

Informal employment increased by 1.8% in 2022, resulting in 48,902 new informal jobs. The growth of female employment in the informal sector showed no significant variations compared to male employment. At the aggregate level, the informality rate remains 2.3 percentage points higher than pre-pandemic levels, with 57.6% of the employed population working informally. Informal employment is characterized by lower-quality jobs, lower wages, lack of social security coverage, and its contribution to economic growth is comparatively lower.

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