Santo Domingo, D.R.– The United States Embassy in Santo Domingo held a cocktail reception commemorating International Women’s Day. The event was hosted by the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Mr. Patrick Dunn and his wife, Meltem Ercan-Dunn at the Ambassador’s residence.
The event convened women leaders from different backgrounds and professions of Dominican society including: diplomats, educators, activists, doctors, journalists, writers, artists, entrepreneurs, among others.
In the United States, in addition to International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month is celebrated throughout the month of March. This year, the State Department developed a campaign commemorating International Women’s Day with the hash tag #BeBoldForChange; a call to action that focuses on the importance of achieving gender parity, as well as eliminating the existing gender inequities in the labor market.
Every year, the U.S. Embassy invites an outstanding woman as a guest speaker to address current progress and achievements on gender issues and the challenges that still remain. On this occasion, the guest speaker was the young politician and deputy for the National District, Faride Raful. The legislator was chosen for her hard work in favor of democracy, transparency and human rights in the Dominican Republic.
During the reception, Chargé Dunn said: “We know that achieving gender parity, and its multiplier effects, results in stronger economies, healthier populations, higher education rates and greater participation in public life, particularly in politics. Thus, we’re called to action, to be bold for change to assure that gender parity is not just a goal, is not just a statistic, but a reality. The Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. pointed out that “Faride, in all aspects of her life, has been brave and bold as an advocate for Dominican social change.”
About the guest speaker
Faride Raful is a prominent lawyer, commentator and Dominican politician. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in law from the Universidad Pontificia Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), she holds a master’s degree and other advanced studies in telecommunications and information technology, intellectual property rights and copyright. In 2011, the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo nominated to the State Department’s prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program on leadership and women’s political participation. In addition to her political career and her position as deputy of the National District, Faride Raful has participated in important awareness campaigns on human rights, road safety, social justice, against gender based violence and discrimination.