The challenge anyone can try on social media seems simple: Put your name in the Google search engine, or that of your sister, your mother or your daughter and, next to it, the word “found.” The result is in no way simple, but rather terrifying. It is enough to press a key to come across a list of horrors, the result of male violence.
The search leaves no room for doubt: being born female involves many dangers, greater or lesser ones depending on the region or country where you were born, and also many challenges to overcome in the pursuit of equality.
Thus, March 8, International Women’s Day, is a date that arose from, and for, our vindication, our struggle. At this very moment, thousands of girls and women–they, which always means we–suffer genital mutilation, rape, street harassment, forced marriages, acid attacks, unequal access to education and employment, lower salaries than their male peers, unequal distribution of household chores, the impossibility of having an abortion, femicide; economic, psychological, emotional, physical, sexual violence…
In Cuba, we are fortunate to be part of a social project in which, for over more than six decades, women have been protagonists and beneficiaries of the transformations achieved. We have as strengths, for example, the Federation of Cuban Women, the precepts of our Constitution, the Decree-Law on Working Women’s Maternity, the National Program for the Advancement of Women and the Comprehensive Strategy against Gender Violence.
The draft of the new Families Code is a milestone on the road to ensuring gender equity, both inside and outside of Cuban homes.
The island’s statistics regarding women’s participation in education, work, production and political life are commendable, but it is in the very nature of our socialist state of law and social justice to work every day, as is being done, to close the gaps that still exist along the path to overcoming patriarchy.
True revolutionaries, women and men, must assume feminism as a theory and an essential practice in building the alternative world we hope to establish.
Let us banish generalizations; there is no single type of woman or Cuban woman. We are millions of dissimilar beings, each one deserving of all rights, regardless of age, sexual orientation, occupation or skin color, whether we are mothers or not. Let us venerate those who brought us here and fight for a future in which no daughter of ours will hear the phrase:
That’s the way it is.