Saturday, September 1, 2012

MARIELA CASTRO in SYDNEY: sexual, gender and women's rights in CUBA today

On Tuesday, 16 October Mariela Castro Espín, director of Cuba’s National Centre for Sex Education (CENESEX), will give a public lecture on sexual, gender and women's rights in Cuba today. This once-only event will be held in the Eastern Avenue Auditorium from 6:15pm to 8:30pm.

A well-known activist for LGBT rights and a strong defender of Cuba’s socialist system, Mariela will be visiting Australia in October 2012 as an invited guest of the Australian Government, to participate in two sexual health conferences to be held in Melbourne. In addition to delivering a guest lecture at the University of Sydney, she will also travel to Canberra.

The daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro and the late Vilma Espín, founder of the Federation of Cuban Women (which set up CENESEX), Mariela has led campaigns against homophobia and for the acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, trans-vestism, and trans-sexualism. She helped push through a 2008 law which gives transgendered persons access to free sex change operations and campaigns for same sex unions and same sex marriage.

Mariela’s responsibilities include: director of CENESEX’s journal, Sexología y Sociedad, President of the Cuban Multidisciplinary Centre for the Study of Sexuality, President of the National Commission for Treatment of Disturbances of Gender Identity, member of the Direct Action Group for Preventing, Confronting, and Combatting AIDS, and executive member of the World Association for Sexual Health.