Image of a group of 17 girls posing for a photo. Several of the girls hold black backpacks. Photo Credit: Asociación de Mujeres de Quisqueya

Asociación de Mujeres de Quisqueya

Over one-third of all girls in the Domnican Republic are married before age 18.

Far too many girls in the Dominican Republic grow up learning that marriage is expected and their role is to serve their husbands.

“There are very chauvinistic people here. Girls are treated differently. Boys are given more freedom,” shares Mabreidy, who left school at age 17 when she was pregnant.

Asociación de Mujeres de Quisqueya wants to change this. The organization has created “The Child Marriage Prevention Center” to challenge social and gender norms and reduce the rate of child marriage. The Center works directly with families, schools and local authorities to identify possible cases of child marriage and then intervene, offering critical mental health services and a safe space for girls.

The Center also focuses on teen pregnancy education and community conversations on the importance of staying in school and delaying marriage. 1 in 5 girls in the Dominican Republic gives birth before the age of 18. This leads to high dropout rates and early marriage. The Center works with girls to help them realize their true worth and to understand their potential to accomplish great things.

While Mabreidy’s early pregnancy set her off track, she’s determined not to let it stop her from achieving her dreams. Organizations like Asociación de Mujeres de Quisqueya are critical. VOW is proud to help scale their work so they can reach and support more girls.

“I don’t want to give my children the same life I’ve lived. I want to get ahead. I want to study so that I can give them a good upbringing. So that they can see I’m a strong woman.”

100% of the funds we raise are invested in underfunded local efforts in communities around the world that advance girls’ rights.