Fidel Castro and Women Essay

Submitted By emmachancellor
Words: 785
Pages: 4

Document Based Essay
1959-1990 was a time of change and uprising for the women of Cuba. This tumultuous era of women figuring out how to become one with a dominant male society was a period of visual societal change. The reactions of women toward this revolution are generally similar but men still fail to see the importance of the movement. Through this time the status and role of women and men were changing, whether citizens were in favor of it or not. Document 1 and 6 are describe the conditions Cuban were forced to live in prior to the Revolution. Document 1 speaks about the oppressive male dominance stating “the daughters of the family had to tolerate that male authority as long as they lived with the father or the husband” which created an extremely restrictive environment for women. This type of interaction between men and women hindered women from reaching their full potential and if rules like this had not been in place the economy and social structure of Cuba could be completely different all for the better. Document 6 shares the story of an extremely smart woman attending medical school who was forced onto the streets because of the absence of laws allowing a maternity leave. She shares that her “infant daughter didn’t even have a mattress.” This is a primary example of how the lack of respect of women’s rights had a serious impact on women and their children, restricting not just the current generation but the future as well. Another perspective these documents give is from men. Documents 3 and 5 are from men offering their thoughts on women’s rights in Cuba. Leader Fidel Castro acknowledges the adversity women face in his country saying “Women’s equality does not yet exist” but does not offer a solution or opinion if this is positive or negative. The man from Document 3 states his opinion very blatantly as he states, “I’m against women’s liberation… I expect my wife to stay home and look after the house.” This was a common attitude among men, thinking that women are an inherently subservient species. This attitude was slowly changed but was swayed with much difficulty because of such strong gender roles established in Cuba.
Another group these documents represent are women who were able to prosper due to the Revolution. Documents 2, 4, and 7 all offer perspectives from women who have experienced a positive impact due to the Revolution. Document 2 shares the advantages that education has given women stating they “gave women training in skills that would enable them to break out of household work.” Similarly Document 4 shares, “now women are independent, free.” These are powerful words for human beings. These freedoms have opened opportunities that would never have been available. Women are contributing to society instead of being forced to make food and clean for their husband all day. The global impact of Cuban women being able to have a job is huge. More people can be above the poverty line, more people are educated…