The 10 most influential women in the history of Mexico


According to our perspective, these women have had an impact on the history of Mexico.

1.- Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez: revolutionary and patriot, better known as “la Corregidora” and “mother of the country”, this woman from Morelia, Michoacán, went down in history when she informed the revolutionaries that the independence conspiracy of Querétaro had been discovered.

Years later, she was taken prisoner and confined in the convent of Santa Catalina de Siena for three years. Freed from prison, she was the subject of decorations and titles that she vigorously rejected as she did not agree with the empire. Under the phrase “Serving the country is a duty and a pride, it is not necessary to reward those who serve the country, but punish those who serve it”, she was remembered.

2.- Leona Vicario: known as “The strong woman of Independence” was also considered the first journalist in the country. Leona developed an enormous critical sense of the world from her readings, which for many meant a sign of rebellion, which caused her to be spied on and her correspondence intercepted, from which she was blamed for her participation in the independence struggle and led to jail time and the seizure of property. However, three insurgents disguised as viceregal officers helped Vicario escape.

Meanwhile, Vicario continued in political, poetic, and journalistic activity with her husband, until his death, which arrived on August 21, 1842, at his home in Mexico City. In that same year she was declared “Meritorious and Sweet Mother of the Country”, being the only woman to have a state funeral; Her remains rested first in the Santa Paula pantheon, in 1900 they were sent to the Rotunda of Illustrious Persons, until her transfer in 1925, to the Column of Independence.

3.- Las Soldaderas: anonymous women who, together with the great troops of Francisco Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and Venustiano Carranza, surprised with their participation in the armed struggle of the Mexican Revolution. These women were cooks, nurses, mothers, and wives who accompanied the Mexican army during their tours to perform various tasks, mainly they were in charge of espionage and exchange of confidential information.

This is a clear example to revalue the female figure in the armed struggle through the artistic reinterpretation of their different roles and facets.

The writer and journalist Elena Poniatowska points out that “without the soldaderas there is no Mexican Revolution; they kept it alive and fertile, like the earth, and fed it throughout the years.”

4.- Amelia Robles: The first transgender colonel of the Mexican Revolution.

Amelia is a woman who decided to join the revolutionary struggle, specifically in the Zapatista ranks. At the age of 24, she decided to adopt a masculine identity. Now in the role of “Amelio” she established her masculinity through her mannerisms, dress and behavior. Her participation in the Revolution focused on courier tasks, smuggling weapons and food, armed struggle and special missions, such as obtaining financing from the oil companies for the revolutionary cause.

Although his original birth certificate indicates that he is a woman, his personal file in the military archives includes a false birth certificate, provided by Amelio himself, where it is certified that he was born a man and although it was in the public domain that he was born a woman, the army registered him as male. Thus, Amelio Robles became the first transgender person to be recognized by the State.

5.- Carmen Serdán: tenacious revolutionary who fought with her mother and brother against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, under the nickname “Marcos Serratos” dedicated herself to printing and distributing proclamations, as well as distributing weapons to fight against his regimen. She went out clandestinely to paste anti-Porfirista propaganda and made bombs with gunpowder and dynamite.

On November 18, 1910, Porfirista soldiers and policemen arrived at his house and a shootout took place that lasted many hours. Her brother Aquiles died there and she went to jail. She later joined as a nurse in the hospitals of the fighting forces. When constitutionalism triumphed, Carmen withdrew from public life.

6.- The Narváez sisters: Rosa and María Narváez, were collaborators of Carmen Serdán, who joined the fight against Porfirio Díaz, making bombs with gunpowder and dynamite for the benefit of the revolutionaries.

These women were the first collaborators of the pioneer movement; Later, they participated as guides in the face of the dispersion caused by the murder of Serdán and worked in the distribution of weapons, mail, news and orders.

7.- Eulalia Guzmán: teacher and archaeologist remembered for fighting for the vindication of the pre-Hispanic world, involved in multiple educational, scientific and cultural tasks, she was the creator of the Historical Archive of the National Library of Anthropology and History (BNAH).

Eulalia Guzmán was part of the National School of Teachers; she was a faithful follower of Madero and was dismissed from her incipient educational work by Victoriano Huerta; she was supported in her educational efforts by José Vasconcelos; she collaborated in women’s associations and Masonic lodges. After her participation in a seminar on educational reforms in Geneva, Switzerland (1922), she Eulalia is in charge of implementing an educational model called the Experimental School among the Yaqui and Yori peoples.

8.- Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: She is considered the greatest figure of Latin American letters of the 17th century, and remembered as an author who had to face the conventions of her time, that is why she had to disguise herself as a man to continue studying. . Sometime later she entered the Viceregal Court as maid of honor of Leonor Carreto, wife of Viceroy Antonio Sebastián de Toledo, thus accessing the great viceroyalty library.

In his works he dedicated himself to pointing out that it was a myth that there were intellectual differences between men and women. His satire against men and his defense of women are no longer an opinion: they are a moral, and even physical, reaction to lived experiences.

In her thirst for knowledge, Sor Juana also drew up a long list of humanists and nuns with prominent cultural and scientific contributions.

9.- Gertrudis Bocanegra de Lazo de la Vega: tireless social fighter during the independence of Mexico. Bocanegra, she organized a communications network in Pátzcuaro to organize the insurgent forces and facilitate entry into the city of Michoacán.

Meanwhile, her son and her husband joined the insurgent army in the ranks of Manuel Muñiz, who in turn joined the army commanded by Miguel Hidalgo with his troops on their way to Guadalajara, taking part in the battle of Puente de Calderón, made where they died.

In the year 1817, she was arrested and underwent interrogations to betray her companions, however, her loyalty to the country prevented her from doing so. After refusing to reveal information, she was sentenced and shot, tied to the foot of an ash tree in the main square, currently known as Vasco de Quiroga.

10.- Rosario Ibarra de Piedra: She is a Mexican activist, defender of human rights. After the forced disappearance of her son in Monterrey, by state police under the command of Carlos G. Solana Macías and later by agents of the Federal Security Directorate, she founded the Committee for the Defense of Persecuted Prisoners, Disappeared and Political Exiles of Mexico, now called the Committee Eureka.

Since its creation, they have managed to find 148 disappeared alive. She is an important political leader dedicated to the fight against impunity. She was a deputy and presidential candidate in 1988 for the Workers’ Revolutionary Party and is currently a senator for the Labor Party. She has been a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize four times.

In these 42 years, Rosario Ibarra has positioned herself as the main icon of the organization of relatives of the disappeared, for which she has been considered a metaphor for fierce motherhood. She herself has said that the search for Jesus “is part of the job of being a mother, I gave him life, I have the obligation to preserve it, to save him, to bring him to affection, to return to him, as a colleague around there used to say, all the soles that have been stolen from them”.

Mexico Daily Post