March 7-8 the Federation of Cuban
Women (FMC) will hold its 9th Congress in
Havana, with some 400 delegates and international
guests in attendance.
Cuban women are recognized for their
participation in all spheres of life.
Since August of 1960, the FMC has
been working to guarantee the full participation of
women in all sectors of society. From its foundation
through 2007, the organization was led by Vilma
Espín, a veteran of both the revolutionary
underground and the guerilla struggle. More than
four million Cuban women currently belong to the FMC,
which is doing important work with young women who
account for 30% of the membership.
Teresa Amarelle Boué, FMC secretary
general, spoke with Granma International about the
What is the central theme of the
The Congress will meet in three
fundamental commissions which will discuss issues
related to the values we defend, preventative work
and the social attention the Federation must provide
in current conditions, addressing a culture of
equality and the internal life of the organization
and how to continue strengthening our activism in
What will differentiate this
Congress from previous ones?
high percentage of the country’s highly
skilled workforce is female.
Every Congress should reflect the
times during which it is held. We will be holding a
congress amid the updating of our economic model.
The participation of women in all activities within
the economic, political and social life of the
country is, therefore, a determinant factor, and
this will be one of the issues discussed and adapted
to current conditions.
What remains to be done?
There is still very much to be done.
I think the Federation of Cuban Women has done a
great deal and we have established our rights in the
Constitution and throughout the country’s
The progress made by Cuban women is
very satisfying to me. In areas of economic,
political and social life, women are recognized for
their work, their cultural development, their
dynamism, dedication, firmness, loyalty and fidelity.
We have the examples of Vilma, of Celia, and others
who fought so that today we might enjoy all of these
What are your current concerns?
The updating of Cuba’s economic model is
an issue for women as well.
Our fundamental concern is ensuring
that all members are participating in their branch,
that the community branch becomes essential to women,
that they always find a response to their main
preoccupations within it.
We have incorporated a significant
number of young women. Strengthening this activism
and this branch-level work, making the branch the
fundamental structure, must be one of the challenges
we face, because on that basis we will be able to do
all our work in other spheres of society.