Sunday, March 16, 2014

Federation of Cuban Women Holds Ninth Congress

Federation of Cuban Women Holds Ninth Congress

Cuban Women Affirm Commitment to Country's Leadership and Economic Model

The Ninth Congress of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) took place from March 7 to 8 at the Havana Conference Centre. The 373 delegates to the national congress discussed issues related to the role of women in the society. The Cuban Federation of Women brings together more than four million women over 14 years of age from all parts of the country.

Prior to the Congress assemblies were organized at the level of local delegations, municipalities and provinces at which members of the Federation debated their concerns and the initiatives they would take to put their organization at the centre of the social and economic transformations underway in the country.

On March 7, the first day of Congress, the participants gathered in working commissions. These included three working commissions, related to the values the FMC defends, educational work, image and presence of women, and the FMC in the media. Elections were also held March 7 for the national committee and leadership of the FMC.

The plenary session on March 8 debated the central report to the Congress and the conclusions reached at the commissions the previous day. The presentation of the National Secretariat and Committee of the Federation also took place on March 8.

Teresa Amarelle was elected as the organization's General Secretary and presented to the Congress during the closing ceremony. She affirmed the commitment of Cuban women to the country's leadership in the construction of socialism and their support for the process of updating the country's socioeconomic model to strengthen its prosperity and sustainability. In order to advance this work, she pointed out, the Cuban Women's Federation needs to increase the quality of the political and ideological work within the organization, taking into account the members' contributions from their homes and workplaces, including those in new forms of private and cooperative management being promoted by Cuba, she said.

The participants expressed their solidarity with all women worldwide who are still demanding gender equality and full inclusion in their societies. They noted that in Cuba, women's integration in all activities is a result of women's longstanding tradition of struggle from colonial times.

During the plenary session, FMC members approved the documents that will govern the work of the organization until 2015. The FMC also demanded the immediate release of all the Cuban Five anti-terrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States.

Speaking at the closing session of the Congress, President Raúl Castro stressed Cuba's pride in its women. The President also referred to the progressive change of thinking regarding women's inclusion, gender equality and women's empowerment in Cuba since the triumph of the revolution on January 1, 1959.

In the keynote speech of the closing session, Cuban Vice President José Ramón Machado Ventura stressed the high level of participation and integration of Cuban women in the country's activities, and the importance of the FMC in the eradication of negative social conduct by working directly with families and communities. He added that the main task of the organization is to contribute to the defence of the Cuban Revolution from constant foreign attacks.

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