BAYAMO, Granma.— As hundreds of Cuban women celebrated their day, gathered in a historic plaza, they also expressed their gratitude to a great man, Fidel Castro.
“The first words, the first thoughts, the greatest tribute to him, Comandante of all battles,” stated Teresa Amarelle, secretary general of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) in her inaugural words at the main national event for International Women’s Day, held in the Ñico López museum and park - formerly the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks - of this eastern city. She emphasized this tribute to Fidel, noting that among his battles, the fight for equal rights and opportunities for women was a permanent cause.
“In Cuba, the struggle for the equality and advancement of women is not only a matter of defending the legitimate rights of a sector of the population, but a condition for the development, with social justice, of the entire society,” Amarelle added, offering several arguments regarding the real empowerment that Cuban women have achieved in the Revolution: women constitute 48% of employees in state institutions, exceed 70% of the workforce in sectors such as education, health and the administration of justice, and make up almost half of the Parliament, with Cuba placing third among the countries of the world with greatest women’s representation.
Amarelle highlighted the recent measures to benefit women workers and recalled that the achievements of Cuban women within the Revolution are still the cause of mobilization and struggle for the majority of women across the world, to whom she reaffirmed Cuba’s solidarity.
The national anthem, “La Bayamesa”, was played by a female string quintet, children read out poems from José Martí’s Ismaelillo, various dances were performed and Fatima Patterson, National Theater Prize winner, read poetry, all providing for an artistic gala that emphasized the significance of Cuban women.
The event, also presided by Olga Lidia Tapia Iglesias, a member of the Party Central Committee Secretariat, alongside the leading political and governmental authorities of Granma, also saw the host province presented with an award for its vanguard efforts in terms of the work of the FMC in the territory, while the territories of Ciego de Ávila, Sancti Spíritus, Matanzas and the Isle of Youth were recognized as outstanding.