Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2018 Jasmine Anouna. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Political Science Department

First Advisor

Roseann Liu

Second Advisor

Ben Berger


This thesis examines why, despite Cuba's global preeminence in gender equality advocacy, inequality remains a deeply entrenched issue. My work focuses on one specific component of inequality, gender-based violence, and explores what is currently being done to address this injustice.

Through qualitative interviews with a variety of stakeholders, participant-observation, as well as a content analysis of literature on women's rights in Cuba, I came to realize that there is an important yet under-documented discrepancy between state-led and grassroots work regarding gender-based violence. Although state-led work, mainly through the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), receives widespread praise in foreign and domestic literature as the entity responsible for securing women's rights nationally, my participants in particular noted that this narrative is misleading and outdated. In the last decade, non-state actors have begun to augment the role of the FMC. Interviewees consistently noted that the issue in question is more effectively being addressed through grassroots activism. Accordingly, I bring the non-state actors to the forefront of change, thus shedding new light on the quest to ameliorate gender-based violence in Cuba.

This case fits into international dialogues regarding gender-based violence activism work. Particularly, my study contributes to transnational activism studies exploring different causes and strategies to alleviate the issue. The Cuban experience serves as a unique and important case to compare with other countries in Latin America and the broader context. The study also contributes in expanding preexisting work on women's rights in Cuba carried out by NGOs such as the Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA), that seek to build more informed understandings of Cuba, and break away from historic prejudices of the island.


gender equality, gender-based violence, FMC, transnational activism