Dominican American woman
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Video

Dominican women in US challenge 'machismo' culture

In the US, women immigrants from the Dominican Republic are living dramatically different lives to the ones they left behind, according to researchers.

In the Dominican Republic domestic violence rates are high, women are less educated and more likely to be out of work, they found. Those who do have jobs earn much less than men.

Women in the Dominican diaspora in the US, though, enjoy much better economic conditions. There has been a major shift in attitudes too, with the traditional machismo culture also being challenged by women who often moved to the US ahead of their families.

"We were raised to be quiet and let the man talk first," says Idelsa Mendez, who moved to the US at the age of 18 before her family followed later. "I don't do that anymore. And they don't like it."

The BBC spoke to two Dominican women in New York as well as the professors behind a 20-year study into the immigrant experiences of different generations.

Produced by Anna Bressanin; camera by Ilya Shnitser

  • 28 Nov 2012