Seminar about the Women’s Question

“On the role of communists in the struggle for the parity and emancipation of women”

Message of the Federation of Cuban Women

Brussels, March 26, 2010

Message of the Federation of Cuban Women for the European Communists and Union Parties meeting on the occasion of the celebration of the centenary of the International Women's Day.

Cuban women indignantly denounce the hypocritical maneuver of the European Union that once again manipulates the human rights issues to attack our Revolution, of which we are an indissoluble part.

On this occasion, the European Union parliament has passed a resolution condemning our country, and violating the international law where "urges the EU institutions to give their unconditional support and full encouragement" to the groups of mercenaries serving the imperialist interests.

We, members of the Federation of Cuban Women (FCW) show our deep rejection towards such interfering actions, with the moral and strength present in those who live, work and raise our children in a society where respect for the human being is the cornerstone of all policies. Many could be the examples that illustrate this statement, and that benefit particularly women, but we will point out one of the most recent ones: the creation of special and free care services for the attention of pregnant women with acute respiratory diseases or influenza virus AH1N1 in all regions of the country.

The European Parliament should look to their own home where the examples of gender-based discrimination violate the most elementary principles of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted by the UN, and that Cuba was the first country in signing and the second one in ratifying it

While we all Cubans celebrated on March 8, with the joy of what was achieved in the way for a genuine culture of equality and improving the ways to assume the challenges we still have, hundreds of thousands of women were claiming in the old continent for their right to job protection against rising unemployment and precarious contracts.

Of the 490 millions inhabitants of the European Union, 80 millions are victims of poverty and social exclusion. Women, and among them immigrants women and other ethnic groups, are the ones that overwhelmingly enlarge this figure.

Regarding human rights, it would be very helpful for the European Parliament to read about the concerns and recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of the United Nations, in the analysis of the Periodic Reports of their respective member States.

In most of the 27 countries of the accusing European Union, women are the ones who in terms of salary received among 7 to 20 percent less than men for work of equal value. They represent 32% of the persons with partial employment contract with the implications this has for their social security in their third age.

The "feminization" of poverty is growing rapidly in the European Union, the growing inequality, poverty and unemployment, combined with a strong patriarchal tradition, are the causes of high rates of prostitution, trafficking and gender violence.

Around 75% of prostitution in Europe is performed by immigrant women, most of them have been trafficked, and almost half are under aged, while violence has killed between 700 and 900 women per year.

Many Non Governmental Organizations have denounced the situation of Roma women, which are routinely subjected to multiple forms of discrimination, and even forced sterilization are reported.

Facing these realities of their defended "democracy and freedom", we, Cuban women, demand to the European Parliament respect for our sovereignty and our decision to continue growing in the enjoyment of our rights, in spite of blockades, media wars and other interfering intentions.

Once again they are wrong. Once again our people and its women will face their lies and false accusations. We will never kneel down.

Federation of Cuban Women