Photo: Yoani Sanchez
“I’d like the Cuba of the future to wear skirts, in the sense of political debate” and integration, Sanchez said during a Google+ Hangout on Challenges for Women Leaders.
Sanchez, who is visiting Google headquarters in California, talked about the role of women in Cuba with the assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, Roberta S. Jacobson.
“A woman is sometimes the last link in a chain of unproductiveness and inefficiencies; that has to explain why there’s no food on the table,” Sanchez said. “It’s the role of the Cuban woman to stand there and wonder: “How do I open a way forward in this entirely male network?”
Sanchez mentioned as her principal source of inspiration the Myanmar opposition leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi “for her sweetness and perseverance,” but there are also anonymous Cuban women, she said, who “are true heroines and who have made great efforts without expecting any kind of recognition.”
“They don’t have cameras filming them every day but they deserve it,” she said.
Sanchez, who became prominent through her blog, Generacion Y, said that technology has “set her free” and that she now sees it “is also serving as a channel for Cuban women in many fields.”
Jacobson, speaking from the State Department in Washington, recalled that the United States has its own obstacles for women, as shown by the fact that she is the first female ever appointed to her current post.
“It’s incredible to me that it has taken so many years for a woman to reach this position,” Jacobson said. “But it’s something that allows me to fortify our aid programs for women throughout the region, and that is one of the most important things for strengthening democracy.”