From words to actions against gender violence in Cuba

The director of the institution, Mariela Castro, described these days as scientific dialogue and social activism, and insisted on the need for education to prevent this problem that affects everyone, and that will not be solved only with recently approved legislation.

She stressed that gender violence is essentially a matter of human rights, and highlighted the importance of generating public policies that contribute to eliminating this scourge and transforming the conditions that generate it, both structural and symbolic.

It is a problem that concerns the whole of society and, therefore, it is urgent to banish the myth that it is a family or couple matter in which others should not get involved, pointed out Castro, who exemplified that many times in the Caribbean nation we contemplate scenes violent without intervening.

Violence has the characteristic that it escalates, he commented, and painfully can even cost someone’s life, in addition to all the psychological damage that it can generate in the victims and the people around them.

It is then, said the expert, to protect the population through education, not only the victims, but also the perpetrators, since the consequences of these acts affect both.

The director of Cenesex said that although women tend to be the most affected by attacks of a different nature, men can also be the object of these.

Furthermore, they are usually prisoners of symbolic violence that educates them in this paradigm as a solution to conflicts, while they assume stereotyped masculinities that subject them to risky behaviors, not expressing their emotions or prevent them from fully enjoying fatherhood, for just cite a few examples. We have to work more on training, emphasized Castro, who addressed the need for clearer messages about the problem and how we can achieve consensus to change them.

“The conferences against gender violence and for human rights are to draw attention to this problem, reflect, exchange points of view, research, concrete experiences, which allow working with specific actions to clarify and raise awareness about this phenomenon to lead to a transformative social action”, he stressed.

He added that complex phenomena like this require perseverance in communicative and educational actions and in working with victims and perpetrators, since prevention is the fundamental message.

In this way, until December 10, the activities will be focused on promoting local spaces free of gender-based violence, with the interest of developing concrete actions to reach at some point the ideal of declaring these scenarios free of this scourge, he said.

Mariela Castro addressed how it is a will of the Cuban State, since the triumph of the Revolution in January 1959, to implement policies aimed at empowering women and promoting gender equality and equity.

The Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) has a leading role in this, since then placing the phenomenon of violence on the political and public agenda.

Currently, the island has allusions to the subject in the Constitution itself, but it also has the Program for the Advancement of Women, the Comprehensive Strategy for the prevention of gender violence and the Family Code.

These are concrete expressions that demonstrate the policy of zero tolerance towards any form of said scourge.

Achieving it, however, requires even more preparation, as indicated by the director of Cenesex, hence the purpose of the conferences is to strengthen the capacities of social actors and civil society for the prevention and care of gender violence in local and school settings.

Courses on these topics, colloquiums on transidentities and violence, symposiums to address the legislative changes that have occurred since 2019 in this area, and book presentations, among other actions, are those scheduled to meet this objective.

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From words to actions against gender violence in Cuba