© 2019

Women’s Work in Special Period Cuba

Making Ends Meet


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Daliany Jerónimo Kersh
    Pages 1-24
  3. Daliany Jerónimo Kersh
    Pages 45-62
  4. Daliany Jerónimo Kersh
    Pages 63-89
  5. Daliany Jerónimo Kersh
    Pages 131-170
  6. Daliany Jerónimo Kersh
    Pages 171-199
  7. Daliany Jerónimo Kersh
    Pages 201-227
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 235-255

About this book


The abrupt loss of Soviet financial support in 1989 resulted in the near-collapse of the Cuban economy, ushering in the almost two decades of austerity measures and severe shortages of food and basic consumer goods referred to as the Special Period. Through the innovative framework of individual and collective memory, Daliany Jerónimo Kersh brings together analysis of press sources and oral histories to offer a compelling portrait of how Cuban women cleverly combined various forms of paid work to make ends meet. Disproportionately impacted by the economic crisis given their role as primary caregivers and household managers and unable to survive on devalued state salaries alone, women often employed informal and illegal earning strategies. As she argues, this regression into gendered work such as cooking, sewing, cleaning, reselling, and providing sexual services precipitated by the post-Soviet crisis to a large extent marked a return to pre-revolutionary gendered divisions of labor.


Women in Cuba Caribbean and Cuban studies The Special Period Women's Employment Cuban economy The Cuban revolution feminisation thesis state employment in Cuba individual and collective memory memory studies informal economy gendered work Cuban black market

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Richmond, The American International UniversityLondonUK

About the authors

Daliany Jerónimo Kersh is Assistant Professor of International History at Richmond, The American International University in London.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Women’s Work in Special Period Cuba
  • Book Subtitle Making Ends Meet
  • Authors Daliany Jerónimo Kersh
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-05629-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-05630-8
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 255
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 8 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Latin American History
    Oral History
    Women's Studies
    Labor History
    Social History
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