Similar to Cuba’s Black population, Cuban women were relegated to the margins of society during pre-revolutionary times in Cuba. Women comprised of the majority of the illiterate, uneducated, and unemployed population. The situation, status and rights of women drastically changed during the Cuban Revolution. By 2002, the overwhelming majority of university graduates were women, most of whom were in non-traditional subject disciplines such as economics, science, and law. In addition, Cuban women comprise of 65% of Cuba’s professional and technical workers, while 51% of scientific researchers and 72% of doctors are women.
Many Cuban women were actively involved in advancing the revolution and women’s rights. One of the most notable women was Vilma Espín. She was the wife of Raul Castro. She was the founder and president of the Federation of Cuban Women in 1960, where she maintained her leadership for over 40 years.