Community-based initiatives to combat male-chauvinistic violence are growing all over the island.
In Pilar de Atarés, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital city, an Information Bureau on Gender Violence, the first of its type in Cuba, was recently opened, on the occasion of a Cuban Meeting on Violence against Women.
Raquel Gómez, a community leader, told SEMlac that this initiative will make it possible to help abused women and girls.
«An assessment that was made applying the gender approach recently revealed that there was lack of information about violence,» said social worker Caridad Tocabens.
«The Bureau will soon start distributing brochures, posters, manuals, and printed matter in the community,» she announced.
«We will also organize workshops on self-esteem and self-help so that women can get out of the violence circle,» she added.
«We are now giving top priority to gender violence prevention efforts,» she commented.
University professor Magela Romero highlighted the need to provide the Bureau with additional funding so that it can work effectively.
«Such resources can be used to make audiovisual materials that are always very well received,» Tocabens emphasized.
The Bureau is being supported by the Oscar A. Romero (OAR) Group on Reflection and Solidarity (NGO) and the United Nations System in Cuba.
University researchers and experts, representatives of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), and social workers are also backing up the project.
Zulema Hidalgo, manager of the OAR Gender Program, underlined the importance of developing similar initiatives.
«Our group has put together and implemented training and awareness-raising actions all over the country,» she concluded.
Translated by Adolfo Fuentes