Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

Feminism in Cuba, 1898–1958

Summary
This collection, compiled from Cuban sources, spans the period from Cuban independence to the end of the Batista regime. The collection sheds light on:

  • Cuban feminism
  • Women in politics
  • Literature by Cuban women
  • The legal status of Cuban women

An intuitive platform makes it all cross-searchable by subject or collection.

Date Range: 1898-1958
Source Library: Personal collection Dr. K. Lynn Stoner

Description
In the decades following its independence from Spain in 1898, Cuba adopted the most progressive legislation for women in the western hemisphere. This collection is a study on feminists and the feminist movement in Cuba, from the time of Cuban independence to the end of the Batista regime. It provides a documentary explanation of how a small group of women and men helped to shape broad legal reforms and describes their campaigns, the version of feminism they adopted with all its contradictions, and contrasts it to the model of American feminism.

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This collection draws on rich primary source texts which allow women to speak in their own voices, including:

  • personal letters
  • journal essays
  • radio broadcasts
  • memoirs from women's congresses

In reconstructing the mentalité of Cuban feminists, who came primarily from a privileged social status, this collection highlights how feminism drew from traditional notions of femininity and a rejection of gender equality to advance a cause that assumed women's expanded roles were necessary for social progress.

The documents in this collection, most of which are in Spanish, fall into three categories:

  • Works by feminists about feminists and their causes
  • Works by men on the status of women
  • Literary works by feminist writers that illustrate or discuss the condition of women.

The first category contains memoirs of feminist congresses, collections of essays by feminists, journals published by feminist organizations, and published speeches and radio broadcasts. Among the publications are Aspiraciones (1918), an early feminist journal published by the Partido Feminista Aspiraciones; La Mujer Moderno (1926), the journal for the Club Femenino de Cuba, the oldest Cuban feminist organization; and La Mujer (1929-1931), the journal of the Partido Demócrata Sufragista, focusing on the entire Cuban feminist movement.

The second category consists of assessments by politicians, jurists, and legislators about the condition of women in the cities and countryside. These materials provide an in-depth view of the ruling elite's perception on the reform of laws to improve the status of women.

The third category contains excerpts from novels, essays and poetry written by women about women. Also included are literary anthologies of Cuban women writers in general as well as literary analysis of these women's works.

This collection of unique and difficult to acquire materials, lends itself to a study of Cuban women in politics, Cuban feminism, Cuban women's literature and the legal status of women from 1898 through 1958.

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