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Why. And welcome to woman.
Puerto Rico. We're going to be talking about concern in Puerto Rico. With me its sister is founder of a community called sisters of one of the founders of the Puerto Rican women. Also with me and also a founder of the Puerto Rican women. She's currently studying for a master's degree at the University of Puerto Rico. Welcome to you. Tell me something about that. Well the Federation at the moment the Federation. Was on February the 2nd International Women's Year. And that many in Puerto Rico had felt the necessity. Of a federation. That would represent the necessities of the
working class women in Puerto Rico. And. We have. Begun. For an assembly. And we had 100 women more or less. And. It really was amazing how so many women of. Different kind of interests. Of different professions of different organizations in creating a federation. A Puerto Rican Federation. Who. Represent them. Rights. Struggled for. So is the Federation the first of its kind in Puerto Rico. It's not the first. What. You see we have another organization but he is not a mass organization either. Like. Many schools. I think it's a small
university group. And friends of our organization. So it's the largest Yes it's about how many women now. 300 or more. What kinds of women. We have everything we have. We have women's. I think it's high fun heart. Well. We have to. You see East like and. I. Alliance. You call them. Yes. Yes. He's a correlation. Of women see in Puerto Rico. And we. Our expectation East. To. Do have. All the money these. Organization. Do people say that you're
copping the women's slogan in the United States. Sure. What do you say to. Or. Are they beginning to. But. We. Began the history of the import. We. Discovered. That. Hasa very serious. Of time in this tradition. Singh. And. We began to publish these documents of. These truly shown up these He's still real women. And. So. Coming to. Harassment. When they finish. The other myth about Puerto Rican women that you object to. Not that it's that the woman should be your date at home take your doctor and take your. Husband. That woman doesn't
mix with politics. In that the woman the son. Have to go to work out. When outside jumps. That he's only used. The housewife. So what are some of the you know both short term and long term goals of separation. Oh. Well. First of all we feel that. We're struggling for the rights of the Puerto Rican women. And this is enough to have a. Short term term. Project that really will keep you busy. But of course we're also very interested. In developing our women's consciousness in regards to their to their port of Puerto Rican culture through their sexual involvement their political involvement to their religious and. To their. Man woman relationship involvement which means you know having a.
A real responsibility has to be domestic affairs as to salaries. Yes to. Everything you know in the Puerto Rican society. So you mentioned religious involvement. You were not on it. Yes I am going to Puerto Rico with primarily a Catholic country. I would say a 79 percent. Is really important. So what is the church's position as far as women's liberation I mean how much cooperation are you getting. Well. I would say that the church in Puerto Rico is very much aware that women have a very particular role in. The liberating the Puerto Rican church and the Latin American church and the church in general. And when I say church I mean all people really have a good will towards his fellow man. You know but I think that when your institution. Yes. Yeah.
Look forward to see another woman. But they're aware that women have a specific role. It's a different thing. Yes you know what is the thinking. Well first of all they are starting to wake up you know as to a women's participation in the ministry you know. And this is something in which you know we have to really be very open and. Open you know to see what are the possibilities of our women really. You know preaching. And saying that the Gospel. Is something that they also can say something about you know. Because the Gospel was brought. In a context. Of in a particular historical conjunction where particular historical context in which everyone has something to say you know. The gospel is not preached in a back yard and has to do with particular things particular problems. And in particular with oppression. And. With women having to
for example. Occupy positions of inferiority or exploitation. The guy has something to say about this and even throughout the history of revelation of salvation you see that women have a particular history. You know different types of women. Like. I kissed. Like. The Virgin Mary. Who said I don't think you know this because I knew her. We respect. Their situation. We use. Martyr. But what. I. Use. These things to do in the church institution you see. That. I am in the history the church. Is not necessarily true. You know I agree with what I haven't said anything about things
yet you know OK. Yeah. Working with her and. Yes well I mean I think it's a fact that the Puerto Rican church or even the church in Rome you know they really know that they haven't been really playing the part that. Christ really gave them to play as regards to. The liberation of this world this. Humanity. Which. Has to really make a world in which justice. And. Human sharing would be. The main things that really are important. And in this sense. Church where the church has failed. And it's not until. Now. And if it's
the church for example. That's not. A church. You can identify with this type of church and the church that I feel I belong to. And. Let's talk about the economic situation of Puerto Rican women. For a little bit about unemployment is it true that there are unemployed Puerto Rican men and women. Should. Receive less pay. For the same job. So a small industry to have women that men. And. I think that's. Why. Can you. Describe a typical situation of a woman.
Are we working for working women. I know this woman named. And she's a domestic worker. And she doesn't know how to you know how to read. And. She gets very early in the morning. And she gets on a public car. In order for her to go to work. And she's an incredible woman. In regards to her. I would say you know in many things. And. When she comes at our house we usually ask her questions about. How does she feel about women's liberation for example. And. You know she can't understand that you're you know considering that she's. And. It's. Her education in Puerto Rico our society in Puerto Rico have not been. Preparing our
women. Around. To have an active part in society at the domestic workers you know worse than the other women. Definitely they're not unionized at all. Trade unions are not really doing anything with them. If you do three workers domestic with domestic workers. And you know most of the time and the employers. Don't. Make the necessary steps for them to have. A security of. Social Security. Or security for accidents. Or. Having them. Have access to alphabet ization courses or things in which they can really you know. Learn how to write and how degree what kind of money are we talking about. What's the typical salary of a domestic worker. Used to be 75 cents an hour. I don't know you know more than you know any sense I know now. But really this is something red. Another. Woman I know you know she's a they house.
And this woman worked for more than 20 years with this family and they never paid no Social Security. They never paid anything for her. You know it is very. You know it's incredible. You know you have though the walker woman. Or. The woman. But the woman the. World seen factories. Large plants. I would say that my sort of a worker woman. I am a teacher. I go and work eight hours. Then I have to go back. These how much has changed between my home. But. Usually I go back. And I have to take care of my she's my child. And I have to go housewife work. All the household work. And then. I.
I have to take care. I have to take care of my show. And then the aide working 16 maybe 20 hours U.S.. And I am starting to. So I have to. It's. Begun to sleep. I have to go. To sleep. Things actually work in a factory. Things like pregnancy benefits. Things like that. Yes. Not the unions. And not all are you nice. Well yes. Women 18. They are not you know nice. You get it used to be that if you got pregnant you were fired.
This is the case and. You know. She. Finally they gave her the leave you know license. For maternity leave. But you know she really had a very hard and she came to the Federation to see what we could do in order for us to represent her her rights. And finally. I would say the legal secretary that we have seen we have learned Secretariat's and Education International. Trade. Financial secretarial material. And organization and legal fees. And five chapters across. Do you have something called protective labor laws. Oh this is horrible. Well these so-called protective labor labor laws for women.
You know. That. Because the government says that. There are certain specific or specific. Conditions on which women have to be working in for example an employer have has to give them transportation if their work. Passes. A certain hours in the day or night. And they should provide for certain sanitary conditions. But. Most of. The Times. These conditions really require. A certain amount of mourning of it. And they don't do this because they you know employ women. And in this sense. The protective laws of women are discriminatory because women are not employed. In. These discriminant these discriminatory laws. Night night right.
And. Then. Time because one of the. Things that you're talking about 16 hours a day in the factory. Yes. So that's why these for me. But they make it. And then. The two groups of steel are. Doing his job in. His. Stead. Yes. Well I guess. Which really applies to men and women you know. Yes and that women are. Really considered to be equal. To men in the sense that. If they have equal rights and. Equal. Capacities in many instances
we want things. To be managed. For. Them in India. I. Would do the same thing with Mitt you know with. You know what is the biggest issue with the Federation. Right now. Still. Well how many women in Puerto Rico have been sterilized. Thirty five. Percent relation of child bearing age of course you know. That which is a lot. I mean in comparison to to other countries like Pakistan or India you have a 5 percent or 3 percent. Sterilization you know what it is here do. You know I don't I don't know. But probably. So. It's like
New York. So what is the Federation's position exactly. Well beginning to campaign against this and we are demanding that this be. Stopped immediately. You know because we had something that we in a few years we women we have any anyone to really deal with in Puerto Rico. And there are some that. You know that the population before you know and they're giving sex education to our children has forced. You. Oh definitely. But the U.S. government. To US policy. Yes Puerto Rican women have access to birth control method. That. The pill peaks. In 1959. We've all heard of the pill. You know they're family planning centers and things like that.
And these families. And. You have lice. Or you have the pill. So you don't really have any other alternatives. This is not you know it is. You know. Even for this and. It is just. And. Which in a sense is a type of you know trying to make propaganda trying to convince women that this is the best thing. Yes. Because of that. More now you see. And. All the media. Has these propaganda the television up these propaganda. In order to make this to really station. I will demand. The. Vasectomy. The other day I was.
Looking the. Man playing basketball. And then these men. Come. Home and take his child. And kill. Every man your business to. See. You curse women. So you have to make us like them. So within the family there. Who's responsibility of the men who makes the decisions about children and things like. And to honor the Federation. And only women get sterilized unless the husband rises it. You know. It's as if women's opinion really very important education in schools. You know. We're beginning to have it anyway and there has been a very big controversy. In regard to this. Because children have been taught. Or. Are
beginning to be taught. Stereotyped like ways you know considering women you know that women are inferior that men are stronger that they should be men should be in. The outside activities etc. etc.. What do you want done away with completely. Oh definitely. I would not even. I agree with you I mean I think it should be something to which if a woman has really you know and had. You know. Good information as to its effects what it is you know. Well it should be accessible I guess. Yeah. That you feel it's being pushed on women. Yes. We have our 10 at the. I have some problems with nutrition. You have 75 percent of the you know the working class
families that are receiving these food stamps. And this really has been creating a terrible situation because many of these families are. They're losing their jobs in order to take the food stamps you know. And this is creating a sea of work. You know. People simply think that they'll be better off if they're unemployed because they will get the stamps than if they were employed. You know. And this is really something that. Is. Brought to Puerto Rico. How expensive is food. Oh my god yes. He goes twice the US has been to. Port everything we have to pay for shipping. We have like a 90 percent of the food we eat is imported. And even.
An 85 percent of the fish we consume. Comes from. And this you know you see most of the hour. Maybe. The U.S. government. Sent them to this country. Then. They go back. With a price. And the prices. Of. These gone. Your government has a commission on the status of women who are. Not doing anything and I would these people have the money to get its money. We have no money.
They have given us a little place where we can meet or not and we're not paying anything so we're very grateful to. The. Trade union could be helpful. Not so me. Well you see. That the one half Asian. With gun countries you see. But these. Are pretty hard to see when you have. These coke pills. Everything is nice because. I. Book toward. Women. Again half a servant in my house. My kids are in college and everything is so nice so I could enjoy your
guessing. It's like a society thing. The other thing that happened. To. Me. The time we had just a few seconds. Oh I'm not helping you any I didn't none of. This is. Really About. You. We can be responsible for its content and was funded by a public television stations
and public broadcasting.
Puerto Rican Women's Federation
Producing Organization
Contributing Organization
WNED (Buffalo, New York)
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Episode Description
This episode features a conversation with Sisten Elida Rodriquez and Lourdes Vasquez. Sister Elida Rodriguez is founder of a social religious community called Sisters of Jesus Mediator and a founder of the Puerto Rican Women's Federation. Lourdes Vasquez is a teacher by profession and also a founder of the Puerto Rican Women's Federation.
Series Description
Woman is a talk show featuring in-depth conversations exploring issues affecting the lives of women.
Created Date
Asset type
Talk Show
Social Issues
Copyright 1975 by Western New York Educational Television Association, Inc.
Media type
Moving Image
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Director: George, Will
Guest: Rodriguez, Elida
Guest: Vasques, Lourdes
Host: Elkin, Sandra
Producer: Elkin, Sandra
Producing Organization: WNED
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: WNED 04370 (WNED-TV)
Format: DVCPRO
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:28:48
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Woman; Puerto Rican Women's Federation,” 1975-09-23, WNED, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “Woman; Puerto Rican Women's Federation.” 1975-09-23. WNED, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: Woman; Puerto Rican Women's Federation. Boston, MA: WNED, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from