Woman sitting at the Malecón in Havana
Cuba, Stories

International Women´s Day in Cuba

First of all, Happy International Women´s Day to all the females out there!

I am the first one wishing you that today? Well, if so; that can have several reasons, but I am sure one of them is, that you are not in Cuba at the moment. Because on this island congratulations are flying around on the 8th of March and Women get small presents from their partners, family members, and coworkers. Some are taken out for nice dinners and a night out in the town.

The day seems like a mix of Mothers Day and Valentines Day with a little hint to female rights and equality.

The day is meant to congratulate women on being a woman, that is strong and manages her life, her job, and her family. In Cuba, the day has turned into a day to show appreciation for the Women in society and say thank you for their hard work. There are signs everywhere, and the Socialist Government pushes the day on TV and other Mediums.

Other than in other countries around the world women are guaranteed rights and equality, but as everywhere stereotypes and old-fashioned family views are present here as well. But that might be a topic for another post.

Back to the 8th of March!

So there are definitely worst places to be during International Women’s Day than Cuba!

I discovered that over the years! I remember my very first 8th of March in Havana, many years ago. I was not prepared to be congratulated for the fact that I was born with female attributes and identify as women. To be honest, I have never put much thought into that since I believe that we should all be equal but different. For that reason, I do not really engage in debates related to these topics. I  was brought up to show appreciation to women, and for me, strong females were and are normal. My mum worked full time, while my dad worked from home so someone could assist me with homework and take me to dance classes. Also, my grandparents were always there to help and guess what, all of them were working full time and managing the household no matter which gender they have. So in my little universe, we are and were all equal but different.

So the fact that someone congratulates me because of something I took no part in creating was strange. From my personal point of view, it feels odd to be praised for something that nature decided just like that. Like this Cuban Journalist in her thoughts about the day.

But I got used to it, and over the years I understood it more and more and will never forget to send a message of appreciation to all of the strong women in my life, especially to the Cuban ones! And I have to admit, I like the fact that people congratulate me just like that. Furthermore, I notice that on this day I felt like a connection to my fellow females, maybe due to this awkwardness of being celebrated one day a year for something you just are your whole life.

Over Generations, Women had to fight for their rights and still do, not only in Cuba. So why not take this day and accept a gift or some nice words on behalf of them.

Let’s not forget that it does not replace women’s rights and the fact that it should not matter that much which gender we are!




Woman walking in the streets of Havana

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