After a short coffee break/topping up of cocktails it was on to the main event: an insight into the lives of Cuban women entitled ‘Ten Things You Might Like To Know About Cuban Women'. I must admit, until now I knew very little about Cuba. If I had to list 10 things I knew at the beginning of the night, it would have ended after cigars and flip-flops. And then I’d have had to cross off flip-flops because it transpired Havana is actually the capital, not Havaiana.
As it turns out Cuba is full of surprises, both good and bad. Patricia Daniel from the Sheffield Cuba Solidarity Campaign first introduced us to the history of Cuba and the events leading to the revolution. Surprisingly women played a significant role in the revolution itself and in the running of revolutionary Cuba alongside Fidel Castro. During this time the women’s platoon was established, and they also became organised nationally in a federation that dwarfs the WI, boasting a membership comprising 85% of all women over the age of 14 in Cuba. They hold equal proportions of positions in public sector jobs and have a life expectancy inline with women born in the UK. Along with supportive legislation and free healthcare, this all helps to rank Cuba 15th in the world on the gender equality index (which is above the UK!).
|Ladies from the Sheffield Cuba Solidarity Campaign|
By the end of the talk people were bursting with questions, and the topic seemed to spark intense debate, always a sign of an interesting presentation. It was a great introduction to the complicated and contradictory world of revolutionary Cuba. Not to mention the tasty world of Blousey’s cocktails.
To learn more about Cuba’s struggle or get involved with the Sheffield Solidarity Campaign, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.