Chapter

Changing Gender Relations

Iija A. Luciak

in Gender and Democracy in Cuba

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780813030630
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039473 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813030630.003.0002
Changing Gender Relations

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After the dictator Fulgencio Batista was ousted from his political seat, the social and economic sphere for the women of Cuba changed dramatically. Such change in the social and economic status of women was achieved due to the involvement and participation of women in the revolutionary movement which greatly played as a stage and platform for a change of the women's role in Cuban society. After 1959, gender relations in Cuba changed dramatically. Initially, Cuban authorities sought to transform prevailing gender relations based on the premise “the precondition of women's equality was the destruction of private property as the basis for state and family” however following the prevailing thought of Marxism, the government forwarded the rights and needs of women in terms of gender equality through legislation. This chapter examines changes that took place in the economic and social arena after the revolutionary war. The chapter also evaluates the manner with which women organized themselves to transform Cuban society after 1959 with particular attention to the significant role they played in the Federation of Cuban Women or Federación de Mujeres Cubanas (FMC). An examination of the existing relationship between the FMC, the Communist Party, and the government authorities is included in this chapter including the development of the organization from its powerful grassroots movement into an organization that is considered as distant from the challenges that confront the women of Cuba today. Emphasis is given to the huge achievements of the Cuban women on the issues of health, education, and the labor market. The chapter also aims to point out the insignificant progress of the Cuban government to erase the remnants of traditional gender relations due to the demobilizing effects of the Cuban approach to achieving gender equality, FMC's monopoly on women's organizing, and the dependence of the organization on the Communist Party.

Keywords: women; gender relations; Cuba; gender equality; after 1959; FMC; Cuban women; health; education; labor market

Chapter.  9741 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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