Local November 16, 2023 | 8:13 am

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The Dominican Republic makes progress in reducing poverty among women

Santo Domingo.- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has introduced the Regional Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) with a focus on women in Latin America and the Caribbean. In this index, the Dominican Republic ranks fourth among the ten countries studied, with a 21.5% incidence rate of multidimensionally poor households among women.

The regional analysis indicates that 27.4% of women in the region experience multidimensional poverty, with an average deprivation intensity of 48%. This means that women in poverty, on average, face deprivation in nearly half of the ten indicators that make up the MPI.

In the Dominican Republic, the main challenges in addressing multidimensional poverty among women include limited access to housing services (49.8%), lack of internet access at home (62.1%), digital overcrowding (36.5%), unfavorable economic activity (26.9%), and not receiving income (16.8%).

Multidimensional poverty takes into account various factors beyond income, including health, education, housing, and basic services. It was introduced in the UNDP Human Development Report in collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Center for Poverty and Human Development in 2010.

The new MPI for women focuses on five dimensions and ten indicators, including previously unmeasured variables like internet access and digital overcrowding. The aim is to understand the gender gap in information and communication technologies (ICT) and contribute to policies that reduce poverty by considering vulnerabilities and discrimination, such as access to work, education, health, and technology, as well as the burden of domestic and care work.

This index complements the country’s existing MPI, which includes child care, resilience to weather shocks, health and education quality, and the digital divide, among other aspects.

The feminization of poverty in the region is a well-documented issue, with women being disproportionately affected by poverty, and this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UNDP emphasizes the importance of collecting gender-sensitive data in household surveys to effectively measure gender-sensitive poverty. It suggests integrating gender-sensitive indicators into existing MPIs, analyzing MPIs from a gender perspective, and developing specific MPIs for women to address these challenges. Additionally, the index recommends including indicators related to time use, violence, and sexual and reproductive health in future surveys to provide a more comprehensive picture of women’s poverty.

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