Cuba’s New Family Code Touted As Most Inclusive And Progressive In The World

The 100-page code, written in consultation with the general public, has been described by experts as the most inclusive, progressive, and revolutionary code in the world.

Image Source: Google

Cuba just ratified the world’s most progressive Family Code in a referendum with 67% of the vote on September 25. 

On the morning of September 26, Alina Balseiro, president of the National Electoral Council (CEN), reported that with 94.25% of the votes counted, Cubans decided by an overwhelming majority to ratify the implementation of a new Family Code. 74.01%, or 6,251,786 of the total 8,447,467 eligible voters living in and outside Cuba, participated in the referendum. Of the 5,892,705 votes counted, 3,936,790 votes were for “YES”, while only 1,950,090 votes were against the code.

The 100-page code, written in consultation with the general public, has been described by experts as the most inclusive, progressive, and revolutionary code in the world. This new code legalizes equal marriage and equal adoption rights for individuals regardless of their sexual orientation. It also acknowledges the rights of surrogate mothers, as well as women’s work in the home and the importance of grandparents to families.

Redefining Family

It is the first code adopted by a country that would guarantee the right of all people to form a family without discrimination. The code, hence, also recognizes that family as a concept extends the boundaries of the traditional structure, and accepts grandparents, step-parents, and surrogate mothers. For example, it recognizes the role of grandfathers and grandmothers in the transmission of values, culture, traditions, and care. It also factors in prenuptial agreements and assisted reproduction.

The new Family Code promotes equal distribution of domestic responsibilities amongst men and women and extends labor rights to those who care full-time for children, the elderly, or people with disabilities. The code establishes the right to a family life free from violence, and one that values ​​love, affection, solidarity and responsibility. It codifies domestic violence penalties and promotes comprehensive policies to address gender-based violence.

Rights of Children

The Code also outlaws child marriage and corporal punishment, stating that parents will have “responsibility” for children and not “custody”, which means that parents are expected to be “respectful of the dignity and physical and mental integrity of children and adolescents.” It also asserts that parents should grant maturing offspring more say over their lives.

Better Nation, Better Future

This code is important on an international level as it acts as a beacon for future legislation across the globe. For Cubans, the code is an especially refreshing one, as, during Fidel Castro’s rule between the 1960s and 70s, gay people were sent to work camps to be “re-educated”.

It is also important for the way in which public opinion has factored in, showing how democracy should truly be at play. “This is a milestone in the advancement of democracy,” said the global grassroots progressive coalition. “Nowhere in the world has a family law been submitted for public consultation and subject to a referendum.”

The code, drafted following the 2019 legislation that barred discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, will reform and update the Family Code that was passed in 1975.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel, celebrating the results in favor of the option “YES”, tweeted, “Approving the new Family Code is doing justice. It is paying off a debt with several generations of Cuban men and women, whose family projects have been waiting for this Law for years. From today we will be a better nation.”

“Our people opted for a revolutionary, uplifting law that drives us to achieve social justice for which we work every day. Today we are a better country, with more rights,” tweeted Foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez.

Esteban Lazo, president of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Justice Minister Oscar Silvera Martínez, the executive secretary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), Sacha Llorenti, were among the others welcome the new code.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Armed with a B.A in English Literature from St. Xavier's college, Mumbai she set out to become a writer about a year ago. When not binge eating and watching reruns of any show she can get her hands on you will find her talking animatedly/ day dreaming/ glued to a book.
Krupa Joseph

We hate spam as much as you. Enter your email address here.