Sex and Revolution: Women in Socialist Cuba

By Lois M. Smith; Alfred Padula | Go to book overview

12
Family and Revolution

The family is the only institution in Cuban society which remains somewhat unprepared. . . . Each family acts in an individual way, at times headed by patriarchs who encourage customs and traditio from the past.

María Isabel Domínguez, Cuban Academy of Sciences ( 1987) 1

The family isn't in crisis or on the road to extinction, but it is changing and evolving, although slowly and with difficulty.

Cuban psychologist ( 1988) 2

Prior to 1959 the blood web of family loyalty dominated the political, economic, and social life of the nation. Castro's revolution worked profound changes in this scheme, reducing the family's public aspect by transferring its property and power to the state, and modifying its private aspect with a host of reforms which often had the most contradictory and unanticipated effects. After three decades of reform the "new Cuban family" was smaller, more democratic, better educated, less stable. In the economic crisis of the 1990s the balance between family and state was once again shifting. As the state floundered, the family seemed destined to recoup its dominant role in society.


Theory and Power

Paradoxically, while Castro's revolution affected profound changes in the Cuban family, Cuba did not have a specific family policy until 1975, when the Family Code became law. There were no great national debates on the family in the 1960s as had occurred after the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in 1917. While the feminist and sexual revolutions were challenging the family in the West, Cuba's attention, as Che Guevara noted, was focused elsewhere. 3

-144-

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Sex and Revolution: Women in Socialist Cuba
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - Women in Prerevolutionary Cuba 7
  • 2 - The Struggle Against the Dictator, 1952-1958 22
  • 3 - Making Social Revolution: The Federation of Cuban Women 33
  • 4 - The Federation of Cuban Women: Activism and Power 45
  • 5 - Women and the Health Revolution 57
  • 6 - Reproductive Health 69
  • 7 - Women and the Revolution in Education 82
  • 8 - The Campaign for Women's Employment, 1959-1980 95
  • 9 - Progress and Problems in Women's Employment, 1980-1992 109
  • 10 - Sexual Discrimination in the Workplace 121
  • 11 - Day Care and Other Services 131
  • 12 - Family and Revolution 144
  • 13 - Family Dynamics 153
  • 14 - Sexuality and Revolution 168
  • Conclusion 181
  • Notes 189
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index 237
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