The Federation of Cuban Women is celebrating 62 years of its existence.
Below is a statement by Embassy of Cuba in Uganda on the occasion.
The Federation of Cuban Women (FMC in its Spanish abbreviation) was founded on the
23rd August 1960 in order to enhance the equality and emancipation of the women of Cuba on the initiative of Vilma Espin, the honorary President and Fidel Castro, the leader the Cuban Revolution that had taken place in 1959.
On that occasion Comrade Fidel noted the following: “There is a lot to be done, there is a lot to be done for the people and a lot more to be done for women “.He added that there was “organizing, education and preparation required for young girls who were neither at school nor had work, ‘there was need to study all the problem facing Cuban women. (…) to study the problems facing women who had to work but had nowhere to leave their children”, and there was need to eliminate the last vestiges of discrimination”
It was in this spirit and with those objectives that the FMC was born and nurtured 62 years ago demonstrating that the Cuban experience in founding a mass organization through the will and the decision of the women themselves has proved to be a decisive factor in unity to mobilize women, raise their political, ideological and cultural level, instilling in them the awareness of their possibilities and capabilities in order to prepare them for active and conscious participation in the political, economic and social life of the country.
The organization current has a membership of 4 million affiliates and it dedicated effort has led to meaningful integration in society, with full access to education ,health, employment (Cuban women receive equal salaries for equal work and are protected by advanced labour laws that guarantee women’s rights in the State and non-State sectors including the right to paid maternity leave which also extends to fathers and other family members) with guarantees in the area of sexual and reproductive rights which places Cuba ahead in the world.
As such Cuban women play a key role in the parliamentary arena with 53.22% of the seats in the National Assembly and they represent 50.3% of State and Government officials. Women also account for 70% of the professionals in the Judiciary, they represent 49% of the Civil Service out of which over 80% have attained middle and higher levels of education, they are prominent in the public health sector where they account for 69.6% of the personnel and are in the majority when it comes to the medical brigades serving in different parts of the world.
One can also point to the presence of Cuban women in media leadership as well as scientific research where they make up 53.5% of the Sciences, Innovation and Technological System.
In spite of the hardships of the last years owing to the pandemic, the struggle for the political, economic and social empowerment of the women of Cuba is still a priority. On can point to the National Programme for the Advancement of Women which has come into force under an Act of Parliament and to its permanent follow-up which underscores the commitment at the very highest level of the Cuban State and Government in terms of matters of pertaining women’s interests.
As the organization prioritizes the strengthening of the national strategy against domestic and intrafamily violence it participates actively in the country’s legal process ,supports efforts to provide housing while giving priority to women with more than three children, supports single mothers and above all participates in giving impetus to the economic strategy (130,000 women have joined the food programme) in a bid to confront the complex situation brought about by the global crisis and the resumption of the economic embargo by the Government of the United States which has impacted the lives of Cuban women in more ways than one, hampered development and the full enjoyment of the human rights of Cuban families and stands out as the major form of violence visited on them.
Twenty five years since the 4th UN Word Conference on Women, Cuban women can show progress in their empowerment.
The Economic and Social Development Plan up to 2030 and the current legislative reform exercise have reinforced Cuba’s determination to eliminate all vestiges of discrimination and violence, achieve full equality of rights and opportunities in accordance with the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action as well as he Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Cuban women have many reasons to celebrate their 62dn birthday!
Embassy of Cuba in Uganda