Claudia Márquez Linares, Grupo Decoro
HAVANA, August (www.cubanet.org) - When Karen, a 37-year-old electronics
engineer, decided to get a job after having her daughter, she knew it would not
be easy. In spite of official pronouncements about progress in equality of the
sexes, she knew Cuban women face a society that's still essentially machista.
A friend suggested she go to Cubalse, the government contractor for any
foreign enterprise seeking Cuban workers and, as such, a much sought after
employer, since those working there by definition work in the privileged dollar
sector of the economy.
"Go to Cubalse; you are an engineer and I heard they need one. Maybe
you'll be lucky."
Karen applied, and the answer filtered back to her through an intermediary: "Even
though you are an engineer, you have to start at the bottom, as a receptionist.
Then you can come to an agreement with the boss. He doesn't care if you are
married. Here, to get to the better jobs, you have to reach an accommodation@".
Karen decided she hadn't spent years at the university to have an affair
with a total unknown. She said: "I'd rather continue undergoing economic
difficulties than sink so low."
Situations like this are common in the dollar sector of the Cuban economy.
Some women accede to the bosses' sexual pressures to reach the better jobs.
Others, like Karen, hang their diplomas in their living rooms as souvenirs of
their student years.
Even others find themselves the money to buy (with dollars) a job in the
dollar sector. Yes, they are available.
original en español
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