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Revolution Within the RevolutionWomen and Gender Politics in Cuba, 1952-1962$
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Michelle Chase

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625003

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625003.001.0001

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The New Woman and the Old Left, 1959–1960

The New Woman and the Old Left, 1959–1960

(p.105) 4 The New Woman and the Old Left, 1959–1960
Revolution Within the Revolution

Michelle Chase

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter recovers the rise and demise of the new pro-revolutionary women’s groups that emerged in the aftermath of revolutionary triumph. These groups had roots in both the New, insurrectionary Left, and the Old, Marxist Left (the Partido Socialista Popular, PSP). This chapter argues that, while often at odds with one another over ideology and geopolitics, these women’s groups collectively pushed women’s issues—including gender equity—onto the revolutionary leadership’s horizon for the first time. Despite their importance, these groups were forcibly disbanded in mid-1960 when the revolutionary government established a single mass organization for women, the Federation of Cuban Women (Federación de Mujeres Cubanas, FMC). The chapter thus reverses standard assumptions about women’s liberation from above in the revolution, showing that women in fact pushed for inclusion and equality.

Keywords:   women’s liberation, Old Left, New Left, Federation of Cuban Women (Federación de Mujeres Cubanas, FMC), Communist Party (Partido Socialista Popular, PSP)

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