HAVANA._ Cuban women fully participate in all aspects of the social, economic and political life of the island, something for which they are recognized as a leading and decisive force in the projects and aspirations of their nation.

This reality is directly attributable to social justice processes initiated following the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on the January 1, 1959, which took up the cause of women in their claim for full integration into the broadest of societal sectors.

Cuban women fully participate in all aspects of the social, economic and political life of the island, something for which they are recognized as a leading and decisive force in the projects and aspirations of their nation.From the very first day, Fidel Castro, historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, recognized in Santiago de Cuba that “women represent an element within our country that must also be compensated, because they have been victimized in the workplace and other aspects of life”.

This position regarding the situation of women is an indication of the priority attached to the issue in the Revolution’s earliest programs, reinforced in August 1960 by the creation of the Federation of Cuban Women.

With present membership of in excess of four million women, this organization develops policies and programs in pursuit of full equality for women in all strands of society.

In general, the revolutionary government is supportive from an institutional, legal and moral perspective of the vision of emancipated womanhood and the defense of women’s rights. It also supports and promotes empowerment and the participation of women atall levels in the nation’s most important works and responsibilities.

Statistics do not deceive, and in this instance demonstrate the notable and relevant degrees of participation attained by Cuban women, a status that has been recognized by the U.N. and at highest international levels.

Cuban women fully participate in all aspects of the social, economic and political life of the island, something for which they are recognized as a leading and decisive force in the projects and aspirations of their nation.Official data reveals that women make up 65.6% of the professional and technically qualified in Cuba, 62.8% of all university graduates, 70.5% of the education sector labor force, 69.7% in public health and 53.3% in the area of science, technology and innovation.

The Cuban parliament ranks fourth in the world; 48.5%; of seats are occupied by women as are 66.6% of places on the legislatures management body. In this regard there is also a parliamentary Commission for Attention to Children, Youth and Women’s Rights which deals with, among other things, issues concerning women.

It can be added to the above that giving women access to higher levels of management constitutes one of the priorities within the national policy of reaching gender equality, as reaffirmed during the most recent session of the People Power’s National Assembly.

A sustained strategy in this regard can be seen at highest levels of the Executive; 13 of 31 (41.9%) of Council of State members are women, as are 2 of 5 (40%) vice-presidents, 8 of whom as Council of State members, hold government positions.

It is also worth mentioning that Cuba was the first country to sign, and the second to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Amongst the nation’s most recognized achievements in this area are the protection of reproductive and sexual rights, access to health and education services, social security, employment, technical and professional training and the right to choose and be chosen.

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