Nos sentimos libres: Healthcare, socialism, and women’s liberation in Castro’s Cuba
Bursch, Olivia G.
This thesis examines the impact of Fidel Castro’s revolution and post-revolutionary policies on the liberation of Cuban women. I argue that the Cuban Revolution fundamentally reshaped the lives of Cuban women and helped them to make significant progress toward equality. I trace the evolution of post-revolutionary policy change in terms of political, educational, social, and economic reform, with a particular emphasis on the transformation of healthcare. This thesis argues that the socialist restructuring of healthcare, the liberalization of abortion policies, and the post-revolutionary government’s consideration of healthcare as a human right are the greatest indicators of the advancement toward women’s liberation. This thesis makes extensive use of the Lyn Smith Cuba Collection, a compilation of over one-hundred hours of oral history interviews with Cuban women. The majority of the testimonies were recorded between 1988 and 1990, though two were recorded later, in 1994 and 1999 respectively. Interviewer Lyn Smith touches on issues ranging from family backgrounds and revolutionary involvement to socialist ideology and gender equality. The testaments of these women have irrevocably shaped my analysis, providing first-hand interpretations of the experiences of Cuban women with revolutionary change and the effects of Castro’s Marxist-Leninist ideology on the progress of women’s liberation.Embargo status: Restricted until 09/2022. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.