Charting women’s progress since 1959

01 February 2004

Cuba Si
The magazine of CSC
CSC women’s officer Beverley McGowan summarises the presentation given to the CSC Women’s Day Conference in September 2003 by the Cuban delegates form the Cuba Women’s Federation
Autumn 2013
Latin America Conference and Fiesta Latina!
Winter 2012
Inspiration from last year's Latin America Conference
Autumn 2012
Blind Cubans Going to the Movies
ALBA – The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America
The Greatest Pain for a Father
Autumn 2012
Part II - Interview with Ricardo Alarcon, President of the Cuban Parliament
Summer 2012
A revolutionary train of thought
Keeping AIDS at Bay in Cuba
An interview with Ricardo Alarcon, President of the Cuban Parliament
Spring 2012
Sport at the heart of revolution
Summer 2011
A socialist path to sustainability
A manufactured dissident
Breaking the Silence: Beyond the Frame- Contemporary Cuban Art
Restructuring the Revolution
Spring 2011
Revealing Che’s revolutionary roots
The Doctors’ Revolution
50 years of solidarity
In Santiago it is always the 26th
Winter 2011
Gerardo remains positive
Playa Girón
Latin lessons: What can we learn from the world’s most ambitious literacy campaign?
Habana Hoy: The New Sound of Cuban Music
Autumn 2010
Sustaining the revolution
Cuba and the number of “political prisoners”
Daughter of Cuba
La revolucion energetica: Cuba's energy revolution
Summer 2010
Noam Chomsky on Cuba-US relations - exclusive
Friends of Cuba Solidarity Campaign
Waste not, want not
Miami 5 updates
Spring 2010
The real war on terror
Concert for Haiti
Cubans in Haiti
Remedios y sus Parrandas
Auntumn 2009
Interview with families of the Five
Autumn 2009
Presidio Modelo, School of Revolutionaries
Juan Almeida Bosque – hero of the revolution
Summer 2009
From here to there - Interview with Omar Puente
Pride in Cuba
Ken Gill ‘son of Cuba’
Talking to Aleida Guevara
Cuba50 - 40,000 people join the celebrations
Spring 2009
A chance encounter with Operación Milagro
Pushing for a change in UK policy
Confronting rhetoric with reality
Talking about a Revolution
Winter 2008-9
Hasta La Victoria Siempre - Interview with Cuban poet who witnessed Revolution
The revolution that defies the laws of gravity
Feminising the Revolution
Autumn 2008
Terror in Miami - Cuba's exile community
After the storm - Hurricane report
Families torn apart - Miami 5 interview
TUC Congress reports
Summer 2008
AGM Report - CSC celebrates year’s successes
Miami Five – Ten years on
Changes in Cuba?
Havana rights
Spring 2008
Fidel stands down
Celebrating 50 years of progress
Lessons for a greener world
Libraries at the heart of the community
Cuba50 – Celebrating Cuban Culture
Winter 2007/08
“In every barrio, Revolution!” - CDR Museum opens
Fighting for the Five - Leonard Weinglass interview
The World of Work in a Changing Cuba
Campaign on Barclays and extraterritoriality continues…
Autumn 2007
Interviewing Fidel
21st century medicine
The living legacy of Che
Summer 2007
From Pakistan to Rotherham:
Farewell to Vilma:
Whose rules rule?
Spring 2007
Feeding the revolution
Stop the Hilton Hotels ban
Teaching citizenship the Cuban way
Winter 06/07
Exclusive: London's Mayor visits Cuba (inglés y espanol)
Rendezvous with lies
World Circuit Records celebrates 20 years
Autumn 2006
America's favourite immigrants
Life without Fidel
The landing of the Granma
Summer 2006
Teatro Miramar: a dream to be realised
Bush’s ‘secret’ plan for Cuba
From Cuba with love: Cuban doctors in Pakistan
Spring 2006
“Hombres not Nombres”
Let there be Light
Exporting healthcare: Cuba and the real meaning of internationalism
Winter 2005-6
We are stronger than ever
Confessions of an “independent” trade unionist
Europe partakes in a recipe for disaster cooked up in Washington
Autumn 2005
Education from womb to tomb
Brendan Barber pledges TUC support for Cuba
Five reasons why the people rule
Summer 2005
Bill and Joe’s Cuban cycle adventure
Poet of Guantanamo
Participation is key to Cuba’s democracy
Spring 2005
Is Venezuela next after Iraq?
Trip of a lifetime
Justice delayed, justice denied
Winter 2004/5
Cuba's Response to AIDS
Books: Bulwark against neo-liberalism
Guide to the `Report from the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba´
Autumn 2004
Book review: Cuba’s story
Autumn 2004
Speaking truth to power: Cuba at the UN
Heart strings
Summer 2004
A revolution in culture
Cuba saved my daughter
Salud International to back Cuban internationalist doctors
Spring 2004
US occupation of Guantanamo Bay is illegal, says top lawyer
Miami Five: Hopeful of justice
Biotech for all
Winter 2003/4
The truth about Reporters Sans Frontières
Solar-powered education
Charting women’s progress since 1959
Autumn 2003
Join the CSC bike ride to Cuba
How the US stole Guantanamo Bay
Does the FCO website betray a political bias against Cuba?
Summer 2003
Hands Off Cuba Campaign Launched
Monument to freedom
UK lawyer visits Havana
EU lines up with US
Ibrahim Ferrer: a lesson in greatness
The Miami Five -an injustice too far
My secret mission to meet Fidel
Spring 2003
Beyond the beach and sun:
CSC’s Father Geoff Bottoms visits one of the Five
Cuban student tours UK
Autumn 2002
Moncada Day Cycle Challenge
British credit cards hit by US sanctions
Housing for the People
Summer 2002
Evil Spirit
From May Day In Havana To The Cradle Of The Revolution
A dream for all times
How foreigners fuel US anti-Cuba policy
Spring 2002
African Roots
How the US planned to start a war with Cuba
Toys for Cuba
Welsh Education Minister meets Fidel
Charting women’s progress since 1959Women have played a defining part in the changes that have taken place in the economic, political and social life of Cuba since the revolution of 1959.

They have been the main agents in the process of transforming the traditional roles assigned and assumed by the sexes. They have been working in the process of building relationships based on equality, respect of the differences and full realisation of everyone’s potential.

Women have been active in the theoretical and political struggle to alter the fundamental problem of the status of women in Cuban society and this has been the starting point to begin the struggle for full equal rights and opportunities.

Equality for women has therefore been included as one of the strategic objectives in the development of human and social justice of the Cuban Revolution.



Federation of Cuban Women (FMC)

The FMC is an NGO which was established by women in 1960 with more than 3 million members, which constitutes 85.2% of all women over age 14. It has been recognised by the Cuban government as the national mechanism for the advancement of women in Cuba.

This was due to the work the FMC has done at the grass roots level, the authority it has gained by its work with the government on women’s issues and the role it has performed in introducing the gender approach in the institutional agenda and in public policies.

The structure of the FMC comprises a nationwide grass roots network of 73,710 local organisations with a huge number of women members acting as volunteers. This structure allows full participation and genuine representation for all women.

These local delegations are linked upwards to the national executive throughout municipal and provincial organisations.

There is also a Women’s Training Centre and a Women’s Publishing House at national level.



Objectives of the FMC

· To defend the Cuban Revolution which has made and makes their achievements possible
·
· To fight for the full incorporation, participation and promotion of women in the economic, political, social and cultural life in Cuba based on equal rights and opportunities
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· To strengthen the ideological and political work and form ethical and moral values in children, the family, in schools and society
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· To intensify the development of non-sexist education at all levels of society
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· To spread the gender perspective in all spheres of Cuban society as a means for analysis and planning economic and social projects
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· To carry out a strategy for the promotion of women to management levels, including decision making positions
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· To direct the National Commission for preventing violence to women
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· To encourage the participation of women in economic programmes
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· To carry out social research with the aim of diagnosing and finding solutions for the problems of women, in liaison with the appropriate institutions
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· To establish and maintain links with women’s organisations and institutions all over the world
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· To participate actively in the international organisations and bodies devoted to women’s issues
·


Main activities of the FMC

The FMC develops wide ranging community work programmes aimed at promoting education, health, non-sexist education of boys and girls, as well as the awareness of women’s rights, their place in society and within the family. The FMC has 78,142 social workers and 77,317 health promoters who work voluntarily in the communities.

It carries out a permanent educational activity through 176 Orientation Houses for Women and Families that have more than 10,700 female and male professional specialists.

The FMC promotes and is involved in joint plans with the Ministries of Labour and Social Security, Education, Agriculture, Sugar Production, Public Health, Science, Technology and Environment, the Cuban Institute of Radio and TV, the CTC (Cuban TUC).



Advances for Cuban women

The Cuban Socialist government recognised that women were subjected to different forms of oppression based on race, sex and class. The programme for the advancement of women in Cuba assumed this conception and appropriate programmes, specific measures and actions to transform the status of women are also aimed at finding solutions to gender inequalities.

From the FMC’s experience, to achieve equality of rights and opportunities between men and women, it is necessary to develop “a real culture of equality” together with the political will, the creation of the appropriate material infrastructure, the social development and the participation of women.

That is why the Cuban state put into practice its National Development Strategy since 1959.

“This programme calls for the detailed and harmonious execution of economic and social programmes aimed at the creation and development of economic, political, ideological, legal, educational, cultural and social bases to guarantee equality of rights, opportunities and possibilities for women and men, transforming the conditions of discrimination and subordination under which Cuban women had lived for centuries, and promoting the elimination of traditional stereotypes and a new concept of women’s role in society and in the family”.

In the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, endorsed in 1976 and modified in 1962, chapter V1 dedicated to Equality states “The discrimination based on race, skin colour, sex, national origin, religious beliefs and any other harmful to human dignity is proscribed and sentenced by law”. Also Article 34 states “Women and men enjoy the same rights in the economic, political, cultural, social and family terms. The State makes an effort for creating all conditions that foster the principle of equality”.

In addition to the Constitution, several laws and legislation guarantee the main human rights for both sexes. Specifically for women these include:

Maternity Leave (1974)

The Family Code (1975)

Law for the Protection and Hygiene in the Workplace (1977)

Law on Social Security (1979)

Code on Childhood and Youth (1984)

Labour Code (1985)

National Action Plan for the Implementation of the 1V UN Conference on Women (1977)

Law #62 on the Penal Code (1987) - Article 295 recognises discrimination based on any reason and the violation of the right of equality as a crime.

Same salary for the same job and the same qualification

The revolutionary changes which have occurred in Cuba in the last 44 years have transformed it into a society that shows higher indicators for the quality of life than in other Latin American countries and comparable with many other developed countries.

All these advancements have been achieved despite the hostility and the economic, commercial and financial blockade by the US. Cuban women denounce the US blockade against Cuba, the US policy of aggression and the media war intensified in the last few years, as the hardest violation of their human rights.



STATISTICS



WOMEN IN EDUCATION

49.5% of all graduated at the higher level and 62% of university students



WOMEN IN EMPLOYMENT

22% Workers

66.4% Technicians

87% Administration

53.9% Services

33.5% Managers



WOMEN IN POWER

35% in the Parliament

16.1% in the State Council

18% Ministers

22.7% Vice- Ministers

61% Attorneys

49% Judges

47% Judges in the Supreme Court



WOMEN’S HEALTH

Life expectancy 78 years

Maternal mortality 33.9% per 100,000 live births

Infant mortality 6.5% per 1000 live births (the lowest in Latin America)

Access to education and health services, including sexual and reproductive health is universal and free.

Abortion free on demand

Specific mental heath programmes.

Childcare provided at low cost from 3 months to school age.

Optional maternity leave of one year on full pay.


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