Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

5-9-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of Political Science

Advisor(s)

Kristin Wylie

William Van Norman

Charles Blake

Abstract

Gender equality is recognized as a fundamental human right and goal by the United Nations. The 1959 Cuban Revolution advocated for widespread social changes including equality for women. Cuba is a critical case because it both confirms and refutes assumptions about gender equality. The central research question explored in this thesis is: How do domestic and global factors combine to affect the rhetoric and experiences of gendered and racial groups with respect to economic and political opportunities in socialist Cuba? I examine whether the divergences between expectations and experiences conform to the general literature. I find that women did achieve new economic and political positions in Cuba’s Revolutionary society, but the state feminist, top-down structure did not succeeded in guaranteeing equality. Overall, gender equality improved through the Revolution, but women, especially doubly burdened groups, continue to face difficulties. These findings can inform efforts by the domestic and international women’s movements to empower women across nations and cultures.

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