Words of thanks and a warm welcome to our country opened the meeting held between a delegation from Vietnam led by Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa, president of the Vietnam Women’s Union and member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, and members of the national leadership of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), led by Secretary General Teresa Amarelle Boué.
Meeting at the FMC headquarters with the presence of His Excellency Duong Minh, Vietnamese ambassador to Cuba, both sides exchanged their organizations’ experiences and the social, cultural and gender characteristics of their respective countries.
Amarelle Boué explained that the FMC is a mass organization that today brings together 90% of Cuban women aged over 14, roughly equivalent to 4.2 million members, in what has become an important mechanism for advancing national policies in support of communities, families and women.
She pointed to the autonomy of Cuban women as an achievement and also a challenge for the organization. “48% of the state workforce, 29% of the self-employed, 17% of land workers, 60.4% of doctors, 48% of scientists, 79% of the judges of the People’s Supreme Court, 66% of the technical workforce, 63% of university students, are women. Ten heads of government at the provincial level, 66 at the municipal level are women, and 42% of the members of the Central Committee of the Party.”
“Women’s representation in governmental bodies is supported by the express resolve of the government and its equal recognition of women,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa noted that Vietnamese women represent 48% of the country’s workforce and as in Cuba they are embedded in all spheres of economic life. She added that her organization, which receives government funds of around $7 million dollars a year, is encouraging its members to study, in order to raise their cultural level and improve their level of education, which in part explains why they have failed to reach better positions in the Assembly and the Party. “80% of (Vietnamese) women are not graduates or professionals, so there is a very low percent of women elected to the (National) Assembly.”
In this sense, she noted expressed her interest in the FMC’s neighborhood Guidance Centers for Women and Families across Cuba, which provide training programs, as well as the cooperation of other bodies and institutions with the organization and the voluntary collaboration of specialists.
The delegation will also undertake other activities over the next three days including visits to educational, historical, tourist, scientific and industrial centers, and a meeting at the headquarters of the Party Central Committee.