OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
The new Constitution recognizes the achievements of Cuban women. Photo: Jose M. Correa

We are certain that Cubans will support the constitutional process and the 10th Congress of the Federation of Cuban Women, which will take place in the capital March 6 through 8. It will be the perfect setting to celebrate that great triumph of the new Constitution, stated FMC Secretary General Teresa Amarelle Boué, in a press conference.

We are in the run-up to the constitutional referendum, a momentous moment where the people will go to the polls and support the new Magna Carta, the member of the Communist Party of Cuba Political Bureau noted.

“The FMC feels honored to accompany this process with the preparations for its 10th Congress,” she added.

During 2018 to date, the organization has focused its efforts on the legal preparation of all Cuban women.

“We drew up educational materials, such as ‘Women and the Constitution in Cuba”; and we convened the Women and Rights contest, the awards of which will be announced on February 22nd,” she explained.

This motivated, in the first place, participation during the popular consultation process on the draft Constitution, which took place from August to November of last year, she noted.

Secondly, it has allowed Cuban women to understand the need to ratify the new Constitution in the referendum on February 24, she explained.

“Today we can say with pride that many of those who organized this consultation process were FMC members. Most of the interventions and contributions came from women,” the secretary general also stressed.

In addition, more than 60% of electoral authorities today are women, she added.

TO BACK THE CONSTITUTION IS TO SUPPORT GENDER EQUALITY

We are working, woman to woman, to spread the reasons why we Cubans will vote “yes” in the constitutional referendum, the FMC secretary general commented.

“We recently toured the entire country, where we could exchange with cadres, grassroots leaders, delegates to our 10th Congress. This also allowed us to listen to initiatives and realize that Cuban women know that this is a necessary Constitution,” she explained.

“To support the Constitution is to support the equality that the Revolution has promoted since the beginning; we owe it this Yes,” Amarelle stressed.
WHY VOTE YES: THE NEW CONSTITUTION FROM A GENDER PERSPECTIVE

The new Constitution responds to its time, and is rooted in the current Cuban political, economic, and social reality that it governs.

It updates, completes, and significantly and substantially expands citizens’ rights.

The equality clause and the principle of non-discrimination are redefined, incorporating new figures or categories that are vulnerable or susceptible to discrimination such as age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, ethnic origin and national origin. In addition, the wording of the so-called residual clause is perfected, in which other assumptions or personal circumstances that imply a distinction harmful to human dignity can be considered and prevented.

The new text reinforces women’s protection, equal rights in all areas in relation to men, ensures the free exercise of their sexual and reproductive rights, which is a novelty, and protects them from gender violence in any of its manifestations and spaces.

Essential and basic rights that were omitted or not clearly noted in the previous Constitution are expressly outlined, such as the right to life, physical and moral integrity, and personality rights (free development of personality, personal and family intimacy, control over one’s image, voice, and personal identity, the right to travel through the national territory and to leave and enter the country).

A new chapter on Families is incorporated, which recognizes the right of every person to found a family; the protection provided by the state to different types of families in society; reformulates the concept of marriage as one of the forms of family organization based on free consent, equal rights and obligations, and legal capacity of the spouses, referring to the law the form in which marriage is constituted and its effects; and also recognizes de facto unions for the conformation of a common life project.

Therefore, the possibility for future legal norms concerning same-sex marriage and de facto unions remains open.

THE 10TH FMC CONGRESS

With 360 delegates and 40 guests, the 10th Congress of the FMC will meet in the Cuban capital March 6, 7 and 8. The event will be dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the beginning of Cuba’s independence struggles, the 60th anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, Vilma Espín and all young Cuban women.

Although commissions will meet in several venues on the first day, on March 7 and 8 the Congress will gather in the Havana International Conference Center.

Debates will focus on the FMC as an organization that mobilizes women as part of the updating of the country’s economic and social model; the continuity of the Federation; life within the organization; and the role of young members. •

SINCE THE LAST CONGRESS: FIVE YEARS OF EFFORTS IN FIGURES

Among the most important achievements of the FMC since its 9th Congress, held in 2014, are:

- Achieving a combination of experience and youth, since, on average, 56,000 young people have entered in recent years.

- At the local delegation level, 37% of general secretaries are aged under 35. Of these, a high percentage are students

NEIGHBORHOOD WOMEN AND FAMILY GUIDANCE CENTERS

Since the last Congress to date, more than 3,200,000 people have passed through these institutions, and of these, a majority are young people up to 35 years of age.

An annual average of 60,000 people have participated in activities carried out by these local centers, showing the popularity of the training programs offered by the institution.

More than 300,000 people, 60% of them young people, have received training in an average of 50 different areas, taught in the centers.

Annually, more than 60,000 people are trained in a trade within these centers and, of them, more than 25% are men, which demonstrates the level of family identification with the work done.