The Dominican Repulic

Conference hosted by the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation on “Women Empowerment” in cooperation with the FNP party in San Francisco de Macorís

Population: 10.478 million
Area: 48 670 km2
GDP (PPP): 147.6 billion dollar (2015 estimate)
GDP per capita (PPP): 14 900 $ (2015 estimate)
Rate of growth: 1.23 % (2015 estimate)
Head of state and head of government: Danilo Medina Sanchez

The Dominican Republic is located on the eastern half of the island Hispaniola, while Haiti is located on the western half. There is a conspicuous difference between the two countries. Haiti is among the poorest countries in Latin America, while the Dominican Repulic ranks among the most successful ones. The country gained its independence in 1844. After more than a hundred years of political turbulence, Joaquin Balaguer became president in 1966. He remained in power for almost 30 years until he was forced to resign in response to accusations of election fraud from the international community. Democratic elections have been held regularly ever since, and the country is a functioning democracy. However, some serious problems still remain.

Human rights, for example, are not sufficiently safeguarded although much progress has been made in this respect lately. The congress has instated a commissioner for human rights and the government has given the matter high priority. The constitution grants the freedom of speech, the freedom of association, the freedom of religion as well as the right to collective bargaining and to forming unions.

In May 2008, the Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (Unasur) was founded. It is a union of the South American nations modelled on the EU. The union already has twelve member states, though its function is, as of yet, mostly symbolic. In Latin America, a number of centre-right parties cooperate together in the Unión de Partidos Latinoamericanos (UPLA), a regional member of the International Democrat Union (IDU).

From 1996 to 2000, Leonel Fernández was President of the Dominican Republic. He returned to power in 2004 and was reelected in 2008 for his party, the leftist Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD), with over 53 percent of the vote. PLD is one of the two main parties in the Dominican Republic.

Fernández first term as president was marked by strong economic growth, but also by corruption allegations. 2012 Danilo Medina, also from PLD, was elected president. In the presidential election 2016, Danilo Medina won over the oppositional candidate Luis Abinader Corona with 61 percent of the votes.

The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation cooperates with Partido Reformista Social Cristiano (PRSC) and Fuerza Nacional Progresista (FNP). FNP is not represented in the parliament.

It is a stated goal of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation to educate female and youth decision-makers. In 2012, a number of conferences on the theme “Empoderamiento de Mujeres” took place with participants from different Latin American countries. Concurrently with these conferences, youth conferences were arranged on the theme “Principles for a Free Society”.

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