17 May, 2021

Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba

The Radio Station of your Heart from Matanzas, Cuba

Equality and Equity from the Field

Women are expected to contribute to the country's economy as much as men. More than 50 years of Revolution have influenced the closing of the inequality gap. However, the women maintain a double working day: outside and inside the home. The issue becomes more complex when we look more closely at the situation of rural women.
Women are expected to contribute to the country’s economy as much as men. More than 50 years of Revolution have influenced the closing of the inequality gap. However, the women maintain a double working day: outside and inside the home. The issue becomes more complex when we look more closely at the situation of rural women.

In most cases, peasants engage in agricultural activities, collaborating with their partners and are not recognized for their work, either legally or monetarily. Cooperatives make extensive efforts to integrate these women as cooperatives, but it is still insufficient.

Cuban agriculture becomes idiosyncrasy and tradition, elements that forge beliefs and perceptions about how the work in the field should be. Thought that puts a sensitive topic on the agenda such as gender inequality, precisely when the presence and development of women is fundamental to food security.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG) has a working system on the subject, linked to the legal framework of the island, however, the differences persist. In 2015, less than 20 per cent of agricultural staff were women, mainly in non-productive positions. Not counting those who took advantage of the possibilities offered by Decree-Law 300 that grants land in usufruct.

Females suffer stereotypes and gender roles that segregate their location in higher paid positions. Also, inequalities extend to training, participation in decision-making and distribution of the workload in the home, in addition to the presence of sexist and exclusionary language, the presence gap and the misinterpretation of their role in The agricultural sphere.

Factors that support the importance of the gender strategy applied in the Ministry of Agriculture in Cuba to raise awareness about the phenomenon and empower women.

Equality of right to opportunities, possibilities, access and results, coupled with equity, is needed to reach equality with differentiated actions. This aspiration, which materializes gradually, goes beyond the elaboration of policies or not, implies profound changes in the way of thinking and acting.

Original text by on April 16th, 2017