For a culture of equality

Yenia Silva Correa (Granma Intrnational)

March 7-8 the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) will hold its 9th Congress in Havana, with some 400 delegates and international guests in attendance.

Cuban women are recognized for their participation in all spheres of life.

Since August of 1960, the FMC has been working to guarantee the full participation of women in all sectors of society. From its foundation through 2007, the organization was led by Vilma Espín, a veteran of both the revolutionary underground and the guerilla struggle. More than four million Cuban women currently belong to the FMC, which is doing important work with young women who account for 30% of the membership.Teresa Amarelle Boué, FMC secretary general, spoke with Granma International about the upcoming Congress.

What is the central theme of the Congress?

The Congress will meet in three fundamental commissions which will discuss issues related to the values we defend, preventative work and the social attention the Federation must provide in current conditions, addressing a culture of equality and the internal life of the organization and how to continue strengthening our activism in the country.

What will differentiate this Congress from previous ones?

A high percentage of the country’s highly skilled workforce is female.

Every Congress should reflect the times during which it is held. We will be holding a congress amid the updating of our economic model. The participation of women in all activities within the economic, political and social life of the country is, therefore, a determinant factor, and this will be one of the issues discussed and adapted to current conditions.

What remains to be done?

There is still very much to be done. I think the Federation of Cuban Women has done a great deal and we have established our rights in the Constitution and throughout the country’s legislative system.

The progress made by Cuban women is very satisfying to me. In areas of economic, political and social life, women are recognized for their work, their cultural development, their dynamism, dedication, firmness, loyalty and fidelity. We have the examples of Vilma, of Celia, and others who fought so that today we might enjoy all of these rights.

What are your current concerns?

The updating of Cuba’s economic model is an issue for women as well.

Our fundamental concern is ensuring that all members are participating in their branch, that the community branch becomes essential to women, that they always find a response to their main preoccupations within it.

We have incorporated a significant number of young women. Strengthening this activism and this branch-level work, making the branch the fundamental structure, must be one of the challenges we face, because on that basis we will be able to do all our work in other spheres of society.