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Sex and Revolution

Women in Socialist Cuba

Lois M. Smith and Alfred Padula

Publication Date - January 1996

ISBN: 9780195094916

264 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $84.99


The Cuban revolution attempted to make equality in every sphere the basic operating principle of society. Equality among the sexes, it postulated, would resolve the "woman issue" once and for all. Sex and Revolution: Women in Socialist Cuba is the first book-length examination of revolutionary Cuba's attempt to conceptualize, prioritize, and implement sexual equality, offering an assessment of the successes, failures, and dilemmas of that process. In the wake of the revolution, which crushed both Cuban capitalism and Catholic power, a host of redistributive policies helped make Cuba one of the most egalitarian societies in the world. The history of the Cuban revolution provides rich detail regarding the interplay among gender, power, ideology, and culture. Certain revolutionary efforts to transform women's lives were extraordinarily successful, while others fell short of expectations. This book reviews the range of revolutionary strategies encompassed in structures, policies, and laws to address sexual inequality and difference. Ideal for courses in Latin American studies and women's studies, it offers insights into the implications of the way power is organized and managed, and analyzes the limitations of state policies in promoting and managing social and cultural transformations as significant as those regarding relations between the sexes.

Table of Contents

    1. Women in Pre-Revolutionary Cuba
    2. The Struggle against the Dictator, 1952-1958
    3. Making Social Revolution
    4. The Federation of Cuban Women: Activism and Power
    5. Women and the Health Revolution
    6. Reproductive Health
    7. Women and the Revolution in Education
    8. The Campaign for Women's Employment, 1959-1980
    9. Progress and Problems in Women's Employment, 1980-1992
    10. Sexual Discrimination in the Workplace
    11. Day Care and Other Services
    12. Revolution and Change in the Cuban Family
    13. Family Dynamics
    14. Sexuality and Revolution