FocusComprehensive Sexuality Education & Free access to safe abortion and health care.
Social media handles:Facebook : @esnogifle Instagram : @esnogifle Twitter : @estherneomi03
EngagementEsther is a law graduate, member of the Dominican Federation of Students and the co-founder of AQUELLARE RD, a feminist training organisation that works with marginalised communities to discuss feminism and the rights of impoverished women and girls.
She identifies as an Afrofeminist, because feminism must be inclusive of all women and girls, no matter their skin colour or ethnicity. Working with other Afrofeminists, Esther strives to question white supremacist narratives in the Dominican Republic, and promote the rights as afro-descendants.
In the Dominican Republic systemic gender inequality puts women at a severe disadvantage to men. Esther has experience advocating against the different ways this manifests, including gender based violence, machismo, and sexism. She sees comprehensive sexuality education as a solution to help right the wrongs. In addition to advocating for access to safe and legal abortion, comprehensive sexuality education is a core value of her activism.
Working with Fuerza Juvenil Dominicana, Esther helped lead talks and workshops at university and in her community to address inequality and gender based violence. She also takes action with the Mujer y Salud Collective to demand the decriminalisation of abortion. As a member of AQUELLARE RD Esther is also a part of RedLAC, the Latin American Youth Network for Sexual Rights.
Tell us briefly why you are passionate about being involved with SheDecides?
“The Dominican Republic is one of the six countries in Latin America where you can go to jail for having an abortion since 1884. We have one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies and maternal death in the region, and the government has denied the decriminalization of abortion in three circumstances in the criminal code in 2017. Conservatives and religious groups have just sign an agreement with current candidates to positions of power to prevent the decriminalization of abortion, making our future insecure. This is why it is urgent in my country that we demand the rights that belong to women and girls as human beings. We have to fight to make laws and policies just, because I truly believe if laws do not guarantee equals rights to everyone, we have to change them.”