Editorial – S.O.S. CUBAN WOMEN

Despite how much we hear about political and social situation in Cuba and changes which have been taking place in recent years, little or almost no attention is paid to the situation of women living in the country. Women´s rights are often overshadowed by a struggle for democracy which seems to be intended only for men. We know that Ladies in White march on the streets every Sunday in order to claim their civil rights, but why they never protest against violance and discrimination they have to face just because they are women?

Unlike other countries in the region such as Nicaragua, where feminist movement has become strong enough to be a fundamental factor in the struggle for human rights, the potential of Cuban women is constantly being ignored. As women in Cuba are trapped by traditional patriarchal society, feminism does not form a part of their democratic activism for human and civil rights. In Cuba there is still too little awareness of the fact, that real changes require strenghtening of the women position in the society. Women represent at least a half of the population and only if they have a sufficient space for self-fulfillment, a truly free society will be achieved.

There is no need for detailed investigation in order to understand that a lot of women in Cuba are victims of male violence. It is manifested by street harrasment, openly paternalistic and possesive attitude towards women and hidden domestic violence which the government does not register at all. There is a serios reason to believe that if the number of women anually killed in Cuba was revealed, it would be very alarming.

The gender-based violence is undoubtedly the most disturbing manifestation of the situation of women in Cuba. This magazine dedicates two articles to this topic. The third one tells a story of an elderly lady relying only on her creativity. Beyond the grim reality these stories reveal, these articles and photos, all made by Cuban women, show a collective strenght that has much to say.

You can read our magazine here: S.O.S CUBAN WOMEN

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Agnes Koleman has been visiting Cuban since 1997. She is long time admirer of Cuban people and hopes Cuba will soon will become a democratic country.