Havana, Aug 1st – The women participation in Cuban economic, social and political life reveals the will of the State to raise their roles in all areas to higher levels, and crucial efforts are being made for achieving gender equality.
This month Cuba is submitting its report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, in Switzerland. Minutes before leaving for Geneva, the Minister of Justice, María Esther Reus, talked about it with Prensa Latina.
With this presentation, the island aims to “show the achievements in the integration of women in society”, as well as the progress in the fight against discrimination, said Reus.
We come to this forum with positive results and the pride of being the first country to sign the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the second one to ratify it, the minister said.
There are now 187 countries adhering to the CEDAW, which should provide an assessment every four years to this mechanism.
The report is evaluated by a committee of experts proposing and recommending actions to each member nation.
The convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 18, 1979 and entered into force as an international treaty in September 1981.
The results of the country in the pursuit of gender equity are “a concrete example of the political will of the State and the government to raise the women role to higher levels”, said the minister.
There is no doubt that the nation has an international recognition for its policies regarding these issues, and “a lot to show” other governments, she said.
We have one of the three parliaments with more women in the world: 48.36 percent of female representation, she added.
The island has other indicators showing progress. For example, women occupy nearly half of the state jobs in the country and constitute 46 percent of managers.
This is a sign of “women participation in the economic, social and political life and the tribute to their empowerment in decision-making positions,” said the Minister of Justice.
Questioned on the outstanding issues in gender equality on the island, the minister considered that still prevail social stereotypes determining participation of females in certain functions, she said.
At home, for example, responsibilities are not equal and domestic burden falls most heavily on them.
We need to conquer more spaces for women in social life and work to raise man’s responsibilities regarding the care of the family, children and the elderly.
In this regard, she added that the Caribbean island has given legislative steps, with laws like maternity.
By these rules, men can also take care of newborns and sick people in hospitals, practices that until recently were only allowed to women.
There is still a long way to go; however, Cuba is prepared like no other country to bridge the gaps in gender equality, concluded Reus.
At this meeting, lasting until July 26, countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic and Serbia will also present their reports.
Source: Prensa Latina