Camilla told of gender equality during tour of Cuba

The Duchess of Cornwall was told Britain has some catching up to do when it comes to women’s equality during her tour of Cuba.

Camilla met members of the Federation of Cuban Women in Havana, where she was told women enjoy equal pay with men in the Communist state.

The round table discussion also championed the fact that the Cuban parliament now boasts the second highest number of women of any parliament in the world.

The Duchess of Cornwall, signs the visitors book  during a visit to the Federation of Cuban Women (Jane Barlow/PA)
The Duchess of Cornwall, signs the visitors book during a visit to the Federation of Cuban Women (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Federation, which has 4.3 million members making up 91.7% of the female population, helps women aged 14 and above to find work, access health care and gain support if they find themselves in vulnerable situations.

Camilla has made gender equality and issues such as domestic violence the cornerstone of her public work.

The Federation’s prevention officer Mayra Diaz Garcia said: “In Cuba women have the same rights as men.

“We are so glad the duchess has come to see all we have achieved here and we hope that can be replicated by women who live in difficult conditions around the world.”

Later the duchess, who is a keen Strictly Come Dancing fan and learning to dance the Salsa, watched a group of energetic teenagers and young dancers put on a performance.

She was joined by Lis Cuesta Peraza, wife of Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel, at the Paso A Paso dance company’s new performance space in the capital.

The Duchess of Cornwall visits a community dance group (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)
The Duchess of Cornwall visits a community dance group (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Camilla, her feet tapping, watched the children and teenagers perform a range of dances including the rumba and the salsa.

The duchess has regularly shown off her dance moves on royal tours but did not venture onto the dance floor.

“That was brilliant. I’m very happy I saw some salsa. I’m trying to learn,” she told the president’s wife at the end of the show.

Dance is a huge part of Cuban life. There are more than 550 members of the Paso A Paso group and all the instructors are volunteers.

The group has been involved in government shows and has good links to other dance companies.

Some of the children have come from challenging backgrounds and have flourished in the classes.

Before she left, the duchess posed for a picture with the dancers and was given a picture of the group, as well as a felt doll and a cartoon as a memento of her visit.

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