Mujeres De Carácter: The Strong Women of Cuba


The concept for this study began after meeting with mujeres de carácter (strong, influential women) during a cultural exchange visit to Cuba. This meeting was followed by a literature review on cultural exchanges and gender relations in Cuba and then by interviews with 16 academic exchange visitors. Sexual divisions of labor and the binary between mujeres de carácter and mujeres típicas emerged as the primary topics of interest. A structural-feminist conceptual framework was used to interpret these issues within the broader scope of gender relations in Cuba. The pro-revolutionary, mujeres de caracter identity was constructed through civil reforms and structural exigencies of the patriarchal socialist state. Recent economic hardships have threatened this identity and progress toward gender equality has been threatened by the reemergence of old sexual divisions of labor in a changing economy.

Cuba, feminism, gender equity, cultural exchanges
Lichtenstein, B., Larson, B., Brodsky, S., Oakes, A. (2007): Mujeres De Carácter: The Strong Women of Cuba. Social Sciences, 2(2).