SANTO DOMINGO – Close to one hundred women dressed in bridal garb but with black mourning veils marched at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) on Friday to protest gender violence in the Dominican Republic.
This was the eighth “March of the Brides,” which has been carried out each year to remember the murder of Gladys Ricart decades ago by her former fiance the day they were planning to get married.
University chancellor Emma Polanco Melo, who led the march, highlighted “the UASD’s great commitment to raise awareness in Dominican society about gender violence, which must end.”
“We carry out this march every year, seeking to let Dominicans know that we must end violence against women. This is why we created the Gender and Family Institute, with the goal of working to raise awareness in society,” she said.
One of the organizers of the march, Birmania Polanco, said she was thankful for the support they had received, both by participants and by university authorities, adding that she was confident that the initiative would keep drawing more support each year, to help develop strategies to end gender violence.
The United Nations, in its 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, defines the term as applying to “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”