Mexican women are taking a vital role in politics


The fact that Mexico — where women didn’t have a constitutional right to vote until 1953 and which today struggles with femicides — could have a woman president might seem remarkable.

But political experts point to Latin American leaders such as Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Argentina; Michelle Bachelet in Chile; Violeta Barrios de Chamorro in Nicaragua; and most recently, Xiomara Castro in Honduras. And they note the gender parity laws across the region that led to more women entering politics.

In the 1990s, Mexico began passing reforms to open up the political sector to women — first with a recommendation for political parties to post female candidates, followed by obligatory gender quotas.

In 2018, women won nearly half the seats in both houses of Mexico’s Congress, and the next year both chambers overwhelmingly passed a constitutional reform requiring parity in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

Today, a woman heads the Supreme Court. Women hold eight of Mexico’s 31 state governorships and, in 2022, accounted for 25% of the country’s mayors.

In 2020, Mexico criminalized political violence against women, which includes restricting voting rights, threats aimed at ending a campaign, and distributing political propaganda with gender stereotypes.

The next year, the country’s top electoral tribunal annulled an election after billboards and graffiti aimed at a mayoral candidate in Guerrero state blared messages such as “It’s time for men” and “Not one more old woman in power.”

A man in a suit and tie stands at a lectern with his arms spread. A Mexican flag is displayed near him.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who cannot run for a second term, has disparaged presidential opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez during his daily morning news conferences at the National Palace in Mexico City. (Luis Barron / Future Publishing via Getty Images)

As the presidential campaigns have ramped up, Gálvez has accused López Obrador of political violence in his frequent disparagement of her, including saying she was a puppet chosen by powerful men.

After the top electoral court said some of the president’s expressions could be considered gender-based violence, López Obrador questioned whether he wasn’t a victim too: “Everything that they say to me, isn’t that gender violence?”

Source: El Financiero

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