The colloquium “Fidel and the Women’s Revolution,” which took place yesterday, August 18, represented a chance for participants to explore in greater depth the Comandante en Jefe’s ideas regarding gender equality.
The event also provided an opportunity to review Cuban history, challenge modern day “discriminatory culture” across the world, and provided a guide “to use in the present we are building today and the future we dream of,” according to Teresa Amarelle Boué, a member of the Party Political Bureau and secretary general of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC).
Amarelle Boué noted that the Revolution changed the history of the nation, and above all the lives of Cuban women. Central to this was Fidel, whose ideas and efforts have been crucial to the gains made by this sector of Cuban society to date, she stated.
The FMC Secretary General added that “In his first speech to the Cuban people on January 1, 1959, in Santiago de Cuba, our beloved Fidel showed, once again, his concern for women’s situation, stating: Women are a sector of our country which also needs to be emancipated, as they are victims of discrimination in the workplace and in other aspects of life.”
This profound humanist vocation led Fidel and Vilma Espín to create the FMC; celebrating its 56th anniversary on August 23, noted Amarelle Boué.
Since its founding the organization has struggled to ensure full equality for women and that they occupy their “rightful place in society,” stated Yolanda Ferrer Gómez former FMC secretary general, 1960-2007.
Meanwhile, journalist Marta Rojas highlighted the importance of remembering the historic contribution made by Cuban women to the country, citing figures such as Ana Betancourt, Mariana Grajales, Juana Borrero and Celia Sánchez: “women of different social and cultural classes, but extremely important to Cuban identity.”
Likewise, Brigade General Delsa Esther Puebla (Teté) recalled her experiences alongside the leader of the Cuban Revolution in the Sierra Maestra.
During the war, she noted, women did everything: we worked as nurses, teaching campesinos to read…Later Fidel taught us how to shoot, and created the Las Marianas platoon, and well, just like he said, a people where men and women fight together, is an invincible people.