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Fourth periodic report submitted on 27 September 1999 (CEDAW/C/CUB/4)


Population: 11 million

Ethnicities: 60% Spanish descent, 22% mulatto, 11% African descent, 1%  Chinese

Religion: 47 % Catholic, 4 % Protestant, 2 % Afro-American Spiritist

GDP, 1998 estimate: US$17.3 billion

GDP, real growth rate, 1998 estimate:  1.2 %

GDP per capita: US$1,560

Major industries: sugar, minerals, tobacco, agricultural, medicine & tourism

Infant mortality rate, 1999: 6.4 per 1,000 live births                                                                                   

Literacy,  1999                                                                                    

            Total: 95.7%

            Male: 96.2% 

            Female: 95.3%

Life expectancy at birth, 1992:                                                             

            Total:  75.5 years

           Female: 76 years                                                                                  

Safe Drinking Water , population with access, 1999:    

            Total: 92 %

            Urban: 98 %

            Rural: 75 %

Sources:  The World Bank Group, [1] Lonely Planet [2] , World Factbook 1999 [3] , PAHO [4] , and Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas, Havana, Cuba (December 1999)


Political and Socioeconomic Overview

Cuba is a Communist Republic and Fidel Castro Ruz has been the head of state since the 1959 revolution that overthrew the corrupt rule of Fulgencio Batista.  Following the revolution, Castro began reforming the nation’s economy, cutting rents and electricity rates, and nationalizing landholdings larger than 400 hectares.  The government forged closer ties with the Soviet Union and for years the government benefited from huge amounts of Soviet aid worth US$4-6 billion per year. [5]

Since the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, Cuba has lost the economic subsidies from the Soviet Union and has undergone a profound economic crisis that has affected all spheres of life. Between 1989 and 1993, Cuba’s GDP fell 35 percent and exports declined by 75 percent. [6] Since 1993, laws have been passed to allow Cubans to own and use US dollars.  The government allowed  self-employment in some 100 trades and opened farmers’ markets.  Although the Cuban Constitution was amended and all references to Marxism-Leninism removed in December 1991, Castro has repeatedly stressed his commitment to Communism. [7]

US-Cuba relations

Following the 1959 revolution, US Cuba relations were directly affected by the nationalization of US-owned petroleum, telephone and electricity companies, as well as sugar mills.   At first, the US cut sugar imports and the CIA trained and armed a counter-revolutionary army to overthrow Castro.  The attempt to do so in the April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion failed.  Since 1962, the US has attempted to damage the Cuban government by enforcing a trade embargo.  The 1962 US economic embargo was strengthened in 1992 with the passage of the Cuban Democracy Act (Torricelli Amendment), and in 1996 with the implementation of the Helms-Burton Act.  The Helms-Burton Act allows US investors to take legal action against foreign companies utilizing their confiscated property in Cuba, and advising against loans for Cuba. [8]

In January 1999, however, US President Bill Clinton announced his decision to expands people-to-people contacts and encourage educational, cultural, humanitarian, religious, journalistic and athletic exchanges between the US and Cuba, without “strengthening the regime.”  The policy built on the visit of the Pope John Paul II to Cuba, which took place one year earlier. [9]  

Freedom of Expression and Human Rights

The Cuban government has come under criticism for its human rights record over the last thirty years because of restrictions of free expression, association, assembly, movement, and the press. [10]   There are as many as 500 prisoners of conscience in Cuba, jailed for criticizing the country’s leadership or for attempting to organize political opposition.  These restrictions on the freedom of speech, however, must be understood in the context of the ongoing US effort to destabilize the regime and the acute economic crisis. Pope John Paul II acknowledged this during his visit to Cuba in January 1998, criticizing both the Cuban government’s limits on political and civil freedoms and the embargo imposed by the US. [11]

The Media

The first independent media outlets appeared in Cuba in 1995.  They have functioned on the margins of Cuban society and the Castro government has attempted to impede their work.  The government has used Article 72 of the penal code, which states that “any person shall be deemed dangerous if he or she has shown a proclivity to commit crimes demonstrated by conduct that is in manifest contradiction with the norms of socialist morality” to silence the journalists who oppose the government and attempt to voice their opinions.   It carries a penalty of up to four years in prison.  According to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists, independent journalists have been harassed by detention and interrogation, beatings, telephone conversations monitoring and service cut-off, threats and ­— in some cases —imprisonment. [12]    In 1999, several journalists were in prison for “disrespect” toward president Castro and “dangerousness.” [13]    In February 1999, the Cuban Parliament passed the Law for the Protection of Cuba’s National Independence and Economy (Law 88) establishing prison terms of up to 20 years for anyone who “supports, facilitates, or collaborates with the objectives of the Helms-Burton law, the embargo, and the economic war against our people.” [14]   The law can be used against journalists who pass information to the foreign media or disseminate “subversive” materials.  Foreign  reporters are exempt from the laws’ provisions. 

This report was written by Kasia Polanska, IWRAW Research Director.  It is based on a fact-finding trip to Cuba in February 2000.   She met with directorate and several members of the Federation of Cuban Women (Federación de Mujeres Cubanas, FMC), and with several other women’s groups, including women in the arts and journalism , as well as academics. The report  prepared by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Radhika Coomaraswamy, following her visit to Cuba in June 1999 is cited extensively.  Background information was obtained from published books and articles.  Rita M. Pereira of the FMC provided invaluable assistance with setting up some of the meetings and interviews with women’s organizations.  We are grateful for her help.




In 1992, the Cuban Constitution was amended to include a special chapter on equality, which prohibits discrimination based on sex (article 42).  Article 44 states that” a woman and a man enjoy equally rights in the economic, political, cultural, social life and in the family.” Articles 41-44 of the Cuban Constitution grant women equal economic, political, cultural, social and familial rights with men and prohibit discrimination based on race, skin color, sex, national origin, religious belief and other forms of discrimination.  Additionally, Article 295 of the Penal code [Ley No. 62 (1979)] provides for sexual equality. [15]



The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women reported that women whose political views are not in line with official views find themselves in an especially vulnerable position as a result of the government’s refusal to allow independent political and civil expression.  According to the Special Rapporteur report, many women have been arbitrarily detained for political or journalistic activism. [16]

Women in Prisons

In 1999, Human Rights Watch reported severe conditions in Cuban prisons, including malnourishment and overcrowding in cells, lack of appropriate medical care, and sexual abuse. [17]   The UN Special Rapporteur visited only one women prison and was not permitted to interview prisoners privately, and, consequently, could not confirm these reports.  According to the Special Rapporteur report, the prison she visited had a medical facility and nursing staff available to the women 24-hours a day.  The prisoners were required to work eight hours a day. [18]    

The Special Rapporteur spoke with two young female prisoners from the United Kingdom who had been held for seven months without trial on charges of drug possession. [19]


In 1994, 170 Cuban women working in communications formed an informal group called MAGIN.  The group discussed the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in the media, stereotypical and often negative images of women — especially on TV and in the advertising  —  and the absence of coverage of women in leadership positions, among other issues. [20]     All the women were members of the Communist Party and they were prominent in their professions.  When the group tried to register as a non-governmental organization,  the registration was rejected making it impossible for the organization to continue its work.  One source who requested anonymity told IWRAW that members of MAGIN were asked to withdraw their application for registration.  According to the source, MAGIN members have been harassed only indirectly, for instance, by being passed up as candidates to attend conferences.  Nevertheless, there also have been reports that some former members have been imprisoned.  

Women’s Organizations

FMC is the main women’s organization in Cuba and more than 80 percent of all women belong to this organization. FMC works closely with government authorities, including the ministries of labor, education and health. [21]   FMC is responsible for coordinating the national structure for the Beijing Platform for Action implementation and of the Cuban National Plan of Action for Beijing.  Recently, with the cooperation of UNICEF, FMC has organized scores of campaigns and programs at the provincial level aimed at raising awareness about family violence, including numerous short “telenovelas” and TV and radio commercials.  FMC also receives complaints from victims of violence. [22]   Over the years, FMC has also undertaken studies at its Centro de Estudios de la Mujer (Center for Women’s Studies)  and has made recommendations to the authorities on issues ranging from “women in decision making” to “women and nutrition.” [23]

Of 2,200 legally registered organizations in Cuba, 60 are specifically associations of women. [24]   Neither the Special Rapporteur nor IWRAW have been able to meet with any non-governmental groups, that would be openly critical of the government’s policies and practices concerning women.  Although some of IWRAW’s sources have admitted problems in some areas, they almost without exception blamed the situation on the economic embargo.  They maintained that the government has responded to the situation of women to the best of its ability, and its task was made difficult by  the economic situation.



It has been reported that machismo is alive and well in Cuba and that  women still have the main responsibility for domestic work and child care. [25]    Despite increased rates of women entering the workforce and despite the importance they play in public life, they are also portrayed as having the main responsibility for the “reproduction of the labor force.” [26]    Several sources told IWRAW that these demands to play multiple roles may hinder their professional development.  For instance, women often do not aspire to managerial positions in their professions as they realize that holding decision making positions means additional responsibility and burden.  A document prepared in 1999 as an evaluation of the International Beijing Conference of Women Plan of Action, states that the government has made efforts to make the household work easier for women, but the document does not specify what those steps have been. [27]

According to several sources, the textbooks in Cuba are still not free of stereotypes regarding different societal gender roles and there is not a concerted effort to implement educational programs to eliminate gender stereotypes.  IWRAW’s sources have stated that at this time it is impossible to reprint all the school books because of shortage of paper and funds.


According to reports, gender stereotyping and sexism exists in the media despite the fact that many media professionals are women. [28]   Black women are underrepresented in TV and, according to a report by FMC, black women are sometimes portrayed in a caricatured way. [29]   It is unknown if there have been any attempts to fight these stereotypes.



The governmental emphasis on the tourist industry development combined with the economic crisis and lack of access to jobs has led to the re-emergence of prostitution in Cuba. Cuba has become a magnet for sex tourists and pedophiles, and the tourists have been responsible for the revival of the Havana brothels and child prostitution. [30]

According to the Article  302 of the Penal Code (Ley No. 62) prostitution in itself is not a crime, but acts related to prostitution — such as the exploitation of prostitution of others — are punishable by imprisonment from 4 to 10 years. [31]    So far, the Cuban government has not taken decisive steps to eliminate this problem (as has been done in Thailand and the Philippines, other traditional problem areas).  Governments in those countries have taken a harder line especially on minor sex abuse, including lengthy prison terms for the clients and procurers. [32]

The government’s report to CEDAW states that “a study of Cuba’s legislation produced solid arguments for including procurement and trafficking in women in the Criminal Code” [33] but the government has not indicated any specific commitment to any legislative change in this regard.  Even though the Penal Code permits prostitution, the Cuban government has focused on punishing prostitutes.  Women who are found practicing prostitution are sometimes taken back to their provinces and banned from leaving them for a period of time. [34]   The government has established “rehabilitation centers for behavior modification” for prostitutes who are detained repeatedly for prostitution, where they stay for up to four years.  According to the Special Rapporteur who visited such centers, women receive psychological and educational training and are required to work, mostly in agriculture. The Special Rapporteur reported that imprisonment and forced labor in agriculture, as well as the restriction of visiting time, violate the rights of those women to due process of law. [35]



Sources told IWRAW that one of the problems that hinders greater progress of women in Cuban society is their underrepresentation at the highest levels of power.   Although the law provides for the election of women and minorities to the National Assembly, both groups are underrepresented in the government and politics.  Women make up 27.6 percent in the Parliament.  However, only 16.1 percent of seats in the Consejo de Estado (Council of the State) are filled by women, and there are only 3 women ministers (9.3 percent). 

Women in the Arts and Culture

According to Lizette Vila, the president of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (La Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba , UNEAC), women do not get as much visibility as men in the arts.  Although she blamed the situation on the historical discrimination of women, she stated that one of the problems in Cuba is the low number of women in decision making position in the arts. [36]   According to Vila, access for women to decision making in the Public Health and Education field, for instance,  has resulted in greater visibility and participation of women in those fields, and she hoped the same could be true about the arts. [37]



13.6 percent of the national budget is dedicated to education.  Girls and women have equal access to education, and of university graduates, 58 percent are women.   Out of the graduates in scientific and technical fields, 40 percent are women. [38]    In some university disciplines, such as medicine, quota for men have been considered as a result of the dominance of women. [39]



Labor laws are cast in terms of protecting the nation’s baby makers.  Although women have been encouraged to join the “productive” work force outside the home, they still have the primary responsibility for housework, child-rearing and family care.  As a result of the rise of a market economy in Cuba, the FMC warned in 1995 that social benefits obtained by working women could put them at a disadvantage when looking for a job in companies aiming for efficiency and profitability. [40]   According to FMC, the majority of the unemployed are young women. [41]

Currently,  more than 40 percent of all women work outside the home.  In 1996, women  constituted 65 percent of the professional and technical labor force, 54 percent of the services sector, [42]   and more than 40 percent of scientific researchers.  Women dominate the judiciary as 70 percent of judicial professionals and 60.2 percent of judges are women. [43]    However, according to various reports, the increasing lack of professional employment, low salaries in state jobs,  and the government’s emphasis on the development of the tourist industry has forced even educated women into low-level service jobs.  Women leave their jobs as doctors, engineers and other professionals to work in the tourist industry.  Women’s jobs typically have lower status and lower pay than men’s jobs.

Additionally, as a result of the economic crisis, there also has been a trend toward a reduction in the economic activity,  especially among young women.  According to press reports, some studies indicate that women abandon their jobs and choose to return to the traditional role of housewife, as they have difficulty juggling motherhood and other family responsibilities.  In order to deal with this situation, FMC recommended a few years ago that the Employment Commission be reactivated. [44]   According to the Special Rapporteur on Violence report, this has in fact been done. [45]


Basic government salaries range from US$7-8 per month. In occupations where women predominate, such as physicians and teachers, the monthly salary is US$20. In 1999, the government increased salaries of some state workers, including teachers and doctors, by 30 percent. [46]   However,  despite generous subsidies for food, housing and medical care, there is little left to spend on other necessities, such as clothes.   This becomes especially apparent, as there is a clear divide between Cubans who have access to US currency and those who do not. [47]   It is unknown if the government has taken steps to remedy this situation and equalize the situation of the people who do not have access to hard currency.

Child care

Several sources told IWRAW that the demand for child care is 25 percent higher than the availability of círculo infantil. (kindergarten).  It is unknown whether the government has done anything to address this shortage.



Healthcare receives 11.7 percent of the national budget. [48]   and 98 percent of the population is covered by the state system, which emphasizes access and prevention.  Consequently, Cuba has first-world figures for average life expectancy (75 years), infant mortality and other indicators. [49]    Maternal and child health is an area of top priority for the Cuban government and women have guaranteed and easy access to healthcare.  All necessary diagnostic testing and drugs are provided free of charge to pregnant women and to persons receiving outpatient care. [50]    In fact, Cuba has one of the lowest infant mortality rate in the world (among the top 10 countries), with 6.4 death per 1000 births. [51]


Since the first AIDS case was reported in 1985, the Cuban government has devised a comprehensive system to address the problem of HIV/AIDS by conducting studies of the groups at highest risk, carrying out epidemiological investigation of all cases, performing analyses of hospital admission records, and implementing a comprehensive program of health education for the general population. [52]    The system provides for a stay in a sanatorium (from 3-6 months), which is not required but is encouraged.  The stay includes physical and psychological testing and treatment. [53]   The system has kept the rate of infection very low compared to other countries, and now Cuba has one of the lowest rates of infection, with only one of every 1,500 persons testing HIV-positive (compared to the US rate of 1 of every 550). [54]   

Cuba tests all pregnant women for HIV and uses Cesarean sections for HIV-positive mothers, which reduces the risk of infection during labor to 1 percent. [55]   Although, it is true that women have been affected by HIV/AIDS to a lesser degree, the situation may have changed and requires constant monitoring.   For instance, as the prostitution rate has risen, it is unknown how this has affected incidence of HIV/AIDS.  The government does not provide information on whether there are HIV testing or AIDS prevention programs targeting specifically prostitutes, and what has been done to assure treatment of AIDS patients given the shortage of medication in general.


Reports of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly of syphilis and gonorrhea, are on the increase. [56]    It is unknown what has been done to avert this trend.


Although the rate of induced abortion dropped from 70 per 100 deliveries in 1992 to 59.4  per 100 deliveries in 1996, it remains high as women resort to it as a form of contraception. [57]    The government does not provide information whether it has made efforts to reduce the high abortion rate and whether any programs and campaigns have been implemented.  The contraceptives use is estimated at 79 percent, but it has been reported that contraceptives are in short supply and pharmacies often run out of them.   In addition, the available contraceptive are of very low quality.  For instance, the widely used IUDs have led to the spread of pelvic inflammatory disease and STDs.

Teenage Pregnancy

According to reports, the province of Las Tunas and the municipalities of Puerto Padre and Majibacoa have high incidence of teenage pregnancy,  STDs and low contraceptive use. [58]

Sex Education

J. Iliana Artiles de León of the Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual (National Center of Sex Education, CENESEX) told IWRAW that the Center works to reduce the high rates of  teenage pregnancy and  abortions.  In addition to shortages of contraceptives, a serious problem is also the refusal by youth and men to use condoms.  CENESEX runs sex education programs in 70 percent of the secondary schools.  Because of the shortage of teaching materials resulting from limited economic means, they are not available in all schools, most notably in the easternmost provinces. [59] According to Artiles, the Cuban Catholic Church for its part encourages “responsible sexuality.” [60]

Nutritional Problems

Iron deficiency anemia affects more than 40 percent of women in the third trimester of pregnancy, about 50 percent of infants between 6 and 11 months of age, and between 25 and 30 percent of women of childbearing age. [61]   In 1995, more than 18 percent of pregnant women were malnourished.  It is unknown what has been done to ensure prenatal medicine and sufficient vitamin intake to prevent anemia.


Death from diabetes has risen steadily from 9.9 (per 1,000 live births) in 1970 to 23.4 in 1996 and a larger proportion of deaths occur among women than among men. [62]


More women than men die from asthma, and the disproportion of female mortality has become more marked in the past several years.  In 1996, the death rate among men was 4.4 (per 100,000) and among women it was 6.1. [63]   It is unknown what the government has done to reinforce prevention and treatment programs to reverse this trend.


According to a report obtained by the Special Rapporteur at a hospital of Villa Clara, figures for suicides indicated that over 75 percent of cases in 1998 were women.  The Special Rapporteur suggested that the government undertake a broader study to determine if it is true for other areas of the country and what were the reasons for such a situation. [64]



The economic embargo put additional demands on women to find creative ways to make ends meet and to cope with shortages of supplies, including food, medicine, female hygiene products and soap.  This may have had psychological consequences for women who carry the burden of additional household work.

The restructuring of the economy undertaken in the early 1990s affected between 500,000 to 700,000 people.  Currently, approximately half of all Cuban households have access to dollars. [65]   These families are in a considerably better situation than families without such possibilities.  It is unknown if the government has designed a plan to assist families who do not have access to foreign currency.

Housing Shortage

The capital, Havana, has a serious housing shortage and overpopulated living conditions have led to an increase in intra-familial tension and violence.  Sometimes, up to three generations live in one or two room apartments. [66]   IWRAW met with women in Havana who have been forced to live with their ex-husbands many years after divorce as a result of serious housing shortage.  One of the sources resided in the former family home’s garage for eight years. [67]



The Family Code (Ley No. 1289 (1975) guarantees equal rights to women and men in marriage and divorce, and equal parental rights. [68]



Domestic Violence

The majority of cases of violence against women that come before the courts are domestic violence cases. Domestic and intrafamilial violence, however, is not defined as a crime and there is no mention of it in the Civil, Family or Penal Codes, or in the Constitution. [69]

The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, reported that the officials with whom she met in 1999 were of the opinion that violence against women was not a problem because the existing statistics for reported cases were fairly low. [70]     Apparently, there is no effort to gather statistics on the issue.  There is also a perception that there is no need for new legislation. The Special Rapporteur recommended implementing programs for sensitizing the judiciary, the police, the prosecutors and social workers to be able to identify cases of violence and to deal with the victims. [71]   As part of Cuba’s National Plan of Action, developed after the International Beijing Conference on Women, the training of judges in the area of violence was made a priority issue. In 1999, FMC was also in the process of developing programs to include gender into police training.  It is unknown if any programs have been implemented.

As of 1999, there were no shelters for abused women in the whole country. [72]   According to authorities, they are unnecessary since in the rare cases when abuse occurs, women  usually stay with their friends or family.

On the other hand, FMC has been attuned to the problem of violence and has initiated research regarding the problem, as well as concrete programs of community intervention. [73]   Victims of violence have contacted FMC for help.


Articles 298 and 300 of the Penal Code (Ley No. 62 (1979) provide penalties for rape and sexual abuse, and the law is also applied in the case of marital rape. Article 298 (3) provides for the death penalty for rape with abuse — a penalty which was condemned by the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. [74]   The sentence for rape without physical abuse ranges from four to ten years.  But because the officials do not recognize the need for statistics on rape, the Special Rapporteur was informed that the cases of rape do not occur to a “statistically significant degree.” [75]

Sexual Harassment

Article 301 of the Penal Code (Ley No. 62) sanctions perpetrators of sexual harassment.  According to the Special Rapporteur report, there is a perception among trade unionists and leaders in commerce, culture and communications that sexual harassment in the workplace does not exist.  On the other hand, the Special Rapporteur received testimonies about sexual harassment against women working in subordinate positions by men in professional positions, such as university teachers, factory managers, and government employees.  There have also been reports of sexual abuse and harassment against women working in the agricultural sectors, especially in the fields. [76]   The Special Rapporteur recommended information campaigns about sexual harassment and devising remedies for victims, particularly in educational institutions and workplaces. [77]


Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women: Cuba. 09/05/96 (Combined second and third periodic report).

Suggestions and Recommendations:

·        Undertake studies to determine the extent and impact of violence against women, in particular domestic violence, even if unreported, and to take steps in accordance with general recommendation 19.

·        Revive programs to combat sexist prejudices and stereotyping, such as "Mujeres," "Muchachas" and "Perfil F."

·        Do everything possible to meet the demand for contraceptives; strengthen special information programs relating to sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS.

·        Make every effort to further check the re-emergence of prostitution, to offer more and better job opportunities to women who engaged in prostitution, and not to place the sole responsibility for prostitution on the women themselves; adopt stronger measures to prosecute procurers and clients.

·        Conduct an empirical study to determine whether women were paid the same wages as men for work of equal value and to document occupational segregation and its relationship to income.

·        Give more information in the next periodic report on women in the labor market and their income situation; give more information on the situation of women in trade unions in subsequent reports.

·        Expand the participation of women at the highest levels of political power; continue efforts to ensure that women have an effective voice in decisions that affect their lives.



Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination : Cuba. 10/02/99. (Tenth, eleventh and twelfth periodic reports).

No recommendations concerning women were issued by this Committee.

Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture: Cuba. 21/11/97.  (Initial report).

No recommendations concerning women were issued by this Committee.

Concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Cuba. 18/06/97. (Initial report).

Suggestions and recommendations:

·        Devote  further resources and assistance to activities in the area of family planning and health education programs, with a view to addressing the problem of teenage or unwanted pregnancies and changing male sexual behavior; give special attention to  issues relating to the incidence and treatment of children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS and STDs, and to reducing the apparent recourse to abortion as a method of family planning; undertake major efforts to broaden the coverage of reproductive health educational programs beyond married couples.

·        Review, as a matter of urgency, the minimum legal age of sexual consent with a view to raising it.

·        Undertake measures to address matters relating to the sexual exploitation of children, particularly through tourism, taking into account the recommendations adopted at the World Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Stockholm; Criminal Code should provide for the protection of children up to the age of 18 from sexual exploitation.




[1] The World Bank Group, Middle East and North Africa: Focus on Iraq, on-line, available at: http://wbln0018.worldbank.org/mna/mena.nsf, accessed 5 April 2000.

[2] Lonely Planet, Destination Cuba, available at www.lonelyplanet.com, accessed 19 April 2000.

[3] The World Factbook 1999, on-line, available at: http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/cu.html, accessed 20 April 2000.

[4] Pan American Health Organization, Country Health Data 1999: Cuba , on-line, available at: http://www.paho.org/english/sha/prflcub.html, accessed 4 February 2000.

[5] The World Factbook 1999.

[6] Pan American Health Organization, Country Health Data 1999: Cuba.

[7] Lonely Planet.

[8] Ibid..

[9] US Department of State, Fact Sheet released by the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, US Department of State, 5 January 1999, available at http://www.state.gov/www/regions/wha/fs_990105_cuba_contacts.html, accessed 1 October 1999.

[10] Human Rights Watch, World Report 1999: Cuba Human Rights Developments, on-line, available at <www.hrw.org>, accessed 10 April 2000.

[11] Lonely Planet.

[12] Committee to Protect Journalists,  Country Reports 1999: Cuba, on-line, available at: www.cpj.org/attacks99/americas99/Cuba.html, accessed 4 April 2000.

[13] Ibid..

[14] Ibid.

[15] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Its Causes and Consequences, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Submitted with Accordance with Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1997/44: Report on the Mission to Cuba (E/CN.4/2000/68/Add.2), (United Nations, 8 February 2000), 7.

[16] Ibid., 5.

[17] Human Rights Watch, Cuba’s Repressive Machinery.  Human Rights Forty Years After the Revolution (New York, June 1999): 5.

[18] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 16.

[19] Ibid., 16.

[20] Karen Lee, “Changing the Image: Cuban Women & Media,” NY Transfer News Collective, 8 December 1995, on-line.

[21] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 20.

[22] Ibid., 21.

[23] Ibid., 21

[24] Ibid., 20.

[25] Norma Vasallo Barrueta, “La Mujer Cubana ante los Cambios Económicos Impactos en su Subjetividad,” Hacia una Mutación de lo Social: Europa-América Latina, no. 2 (1998): 125-128.

[26] Ibid., 126.

[27] Paper published as a result of Seminario Nacional de Evaluación del Plan de Acción de la Republica de Cuba de Seguimiento a la IV Conferencia Mundial Sobre la Mujer on 9-10 April 1999 (Editoria de la Mujer, FMC, La Habana, April 1999), 6.

[28] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 7.

[29] Paper published as a result of Seminario Nacional de Evaluación del Plan de Acción de la Republica de Cuba de Seguimiento a la IV Conferencia Mundial Sobre la Mujer on 9-10 April 1999 (Editoria de la Mujer, FMC, La Habana, April 1999), 8

[30] Ian Burrell, “Sex Tourists Turn to the Caribbean,” Independent (London), 13 October 1998, online, Lexis (13 October 1999).

[31] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 13.

[32] Ian Burrell.

[33] United Nations, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: Fourth Periodic Report of Cuba (CEDAW/C/CUB/4) (ENGLISH), 27 September 1999, 18.

[34] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 13.

[35] Ibid., 6.

[36] IWRAW interview with Lizet Vila, 24 February 2000, Havana, Cuba.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Data IWRAW received from La Federación de Mujeres Cubanas, Havana, Cuba, February 2000.

[39] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 4.

[40] Dalia Acosta, “Cuba: Crisis and Labor Reform Force Women Back Home,” Interpress Service, 11 July 1996, online.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 4.

[44] Dalia Acosta.

[45] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 18.

[46] IWRAW interviews with several women’s groups, Havana, February 2000.

[47] Serge F. Kovaleski, “Havana Daydreamin;  As Tourists Frolic, Bored Cubans Frustrated by Poverty, Lact of Diversion,” Washington Post, 5 March 1999, online, Lexis (13 October 1999).

[48] Data IWRAW received from La Federación de Mujeres Cubanas, Havana, Cuba, February 2000.

[49] The Economist, 8 May 1999, online, Lexis (13 October 1999).

[50] Pan American Health Organization, Country Health Data 1999: Cuba.

[51] Data IWRAW received from La Federación de Mujeres Cubanas, Havana, Cuba, February 2000.

[52] Pan American Health Organization, Country Health Data 1999: Cuba.

[53] Joseph Mutti, “‘Repression’ Saved Lives,” online, available at www.americas.org/News/Features/9906_Gay_Rights/cuba_and_hiv.htm, accessed 29 October 1999.

[54] Ibid.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Pan American Health Organization, Country Health Data 1999: Cuba.

[57] Ibid.

[58] Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Risks, Rights and Reforms 1999: Cuba, online, accessed 5 December 1999.

[59] IWRAW interview with J. Iliana Artiles de León of CENESEX, 24 February 2000, Havana, Cuba.

[60] Ibid.

[61] Pan American Health Organization, Country Health Data 1999: Cuba.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Ibid.

[64] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 10.

[65] “Mala Vista Social Club,” Economist, 23 October 1999, 37.

[66] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 19.

[67] IWRAW interviews, Havana, February 2000.

[68] United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 8.

[69] Ibid., 7.

[70] Ibid, 4-5.

[71] Ibid.,  5.

[72] Ibid, 22.

[73] Ibid., 5.

[74] Ibid., 11.

[75] Ibid., 10.

[76] Ibid., 12.

[77] Ibid., 12.




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