By Mariela Pérez Valenzuela / Prensa Latina
Cuban women have the tradition of sharing, together with men, key moments that mark the history of the nation and, after the triumph of the Revolution in January 1959, they became a key element in the development of a society marked by inclusion.
Present in the struggle for the definitive liberation from Spain first, and then form the United States, women have traveled a difficult path to become an essential group to fulfill new national goals. During these years they have been able to take very good advantage of the opportunities offered by a government that appreciates their qualities.
They are in the political leadership, in the field of science and technology, in the main lines of the economy and also in the simplest tasks. What unites them? The sense of gratitude for a system that left behind the nightmare of inequality. Women are the most faithful followers of the revolutionary process. Wherever they are, they lead by example and unconditionally dedicate themselves to their tasks.
They have fought bravely and intelligently to overthrow sexist thinking, but the social scenario is now very different and favorable for all those who try to make a difference and give their services to the country, physical and intellectual potentialities.
They represent 68.2 percent of professionals and technicians; more than 70 of the workers in education, health and the law sector; 39 of the private ones, and 60.5 percent of the graduates of higher education.
With the purpose of emancipating women, on August 23, 1960, the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) was founded under the presidency of the revolutionary Vilma Espín, a woman from Santiago who demonstrated total capacity to unite different women's organizations.
That leader, now deceased, until today serves as a compass for the island's women who, as in other stages of their history, face difficult challenges. It is no longer a question of changing the mentalities inherited from colonialism and capitalism, but of opening new possibilities for development and an outstanding performance in all sectors of society.
The FMC, as a non-governmental organization, has in its neighborhood delegations its main support in the task of making its more than four million members reach the guidelines emanating from the country's leadership in order to help overcome the obstacles resulting from the blockade.
2020 is also a tough test for Cuban women. The presence of Covid-19 on the island put their potentialities to the limit, which have turned, even without belonging to the national health system, to collaborate against the pandemic that originated in China.
They cleaned the floors, distributed food, helped as necessary and became an essential rearguard in hospitals and isolation spaces. In the communities, thousands of young people - students, employees from different sectors who remained closed, among others - took on unexpected tasks.
They became supportive of the disabled, the elderly, and families covered by the social assistance system. They supported the investigations, distributed food, became the messengers of markets and pharmacies, and relieved the burdens of the most vulnerable.
There is not a single place in the island that does not feel the helping hand of women, even more so in this new test of resistance imposed by a lethal disease, and hardened by the US Government. Like Vilma Espín in other times, actual Cuban women face different battles: the current ones, and those that are still to come, whatever they are. (Photo: PL)