The Mast, 30 March 2021. CUBAN President Miguel Díaz-Canel has signed a decree establishing a national programme for the advancement of women. According to an official statement from the Cuban government, the programme addresses seven key areas that include economic empowerment. “Once more, the Cuban Revolution has shown that respect for women and their dignity holds one of the highest places among its core principles, along with equal opportunities for their advancement,” he said. “This programme is based on the rigorous observance by the Cuban State of the international agreements and instruments for women’s rights while taking into consideration the challenges presented in the assessments of the action plan of the Republic of Cuba monitoring to the fourth conference of the UN on women.”
The core elements included in the National Programme for the Advancement of Women include, the position and political willingness of the Cuban State, which is the cornerstone in the creation of policies in favour of women.
The programme also continues work for the advancement and development of gender equality in the country and institutionalizes this right. “It is the agenda of the Cuban State for the advancement of women and it corresponds with the principles and postulates established in the Constitution of the Republic and in the new scenario of update of the Cuban Economic and Social Model of Socialist Progress, and with the international commitments on gender equality signed by Cuba,” the decree states. “It promotes actions to achieve greater comprehensiveness and effectiveness in the prevention and elimination of manifestations of discrimination against women, strengthens the mechanism and the professional capability of public servers and officials so they can add the questions of gender in the creation of policies, programmes and in rendering services.”
The decree adds that “this is a government programme, which with the participation of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), promotes and ensures monitoring, assessment and tracking of actions and comes in response to recommendations from the committee for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women”. “For the materialization of the National Programme for the Advancement of Women, a plan of action was conceived with measures and the elaboration of a communicational campaign to announce its creation and spread information for general purposes,” President Diaz-Canel said.
“To promote the advancement of women and equal rights, opportunities and possibilities, as endorsed in the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, as well as eliminate the objective and subjective factors of discrimination that still exist in Cuban society and hinder economic, political and social results…”
The programme also outlines other arears it seeks to achieve in women’s interest.
“It also contains nine specific goals that range from a greater systematic…in the monitoring by the government of the actions to promote the advancement of women to the inclusion of gender issues in different levels of education, in leadership training, and to encourage public debate on the role of women in all the fields of progress and action,” the decree states. “It must be stressed that this plan of action has one cross-cutting axe: gender equality and the plan of actions to make the National Programme for the Advancement of Women a reality takes references from not only action instruments, but from the Constitution itself, the conceptualization of the Cuba Economic and Social Model and the Bases of the National Plan for Economic and Social Development through 2030.”
And the plan address seven fields that include economic empowerment of women, mass media, education, prevention and social work. Others are access to decision-making, legislation and law, legal framework and protection systems against all forms of discrimination and violence, sexual and reproductive health, and statistics and research.
“The general secretary of the Federation of Cuban Women shall report to the Council of Ministers every two years the status of the goals, actions and measures of the programme. The Council of Ministers will be in charge of overseeing the fulfillment of the Presidential decree,” President Diaz-Canel directed. “The seven fields each contain actions and measures that, in turn, have been assigned to responsible parties and participants. It ensures a direct tracking of each of these by relevant ministries and the inclusion of other agents…Periodically review the employment needs and opportunities in each territory and in the different sectors of the economy. Promote the engagement of farmer women, especially young ones, in different sources of employment. Conduct an analysis of the state and non-state sectors from a gender approach and its practical implementation.”