Women in political power, an obligatory triumph in Mexico

Mexico.- After the last elections in Mexico, the women they had important results. Of the 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies in San Lázaro, 248 will be held by women. Of 32 entities, seven will be governed by women and 30 percent of the country’s municipal presidencies will be headed by women as well.

Although Mexico, compared to other countries in the region, has made significant progress in recent years on this issue, there are still obstacles at equal access to the representation charges, because there are still significant levels of political violence based on gender and a macho vision, said researchers and academics from UNAM.

According to Enkoll, an agency dedicated to research in public opinion and market studies, in its study: Gender Parity in State Governments, for which the official website of the Government of each state was consulted, where the names and Positions of the people who are part of the legal cabinets and expanded, taking into account the legal cabinet of each state, it was found that in terms of the percentage of women in the cabinets of the states, the state of Puebla occupies the first place, with the 65 percent of women; followed by Chiapas, with 56 percent, and Mexico City, with 55 percent.

States breach parity

In the last place is Baja California Sur, with zero percent, that is, no woman is present, and states such as Sinaloa, Nayarit, Sonora, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosí and Guerrero are also in the last places, since they only have to a woman in his cabinet.
Regarding these data, Flavia Freidenberg, doctor in political science, researcher at the Institute of Legal Research of UNAM and coordinator of the Observatory of Political Reforms of Latin America, mentioned that this contrast between the entities is strange because, according to the norm approved at the constitutional level In 2019, there is a requirement that all appointment positions, such as cabinets, have to integrate women equally. So these data are very important, because then, it would not seem that the political elites of the states were complying with this constitutional mandate.

“It would be important to draw the attention of the rulers so that they comply with what this parity mandate says,” he said.

Enkoll’s study also shows what refers to parity in the rulers of federal entities. After the 2021 elections, six women will govern the states of Tlaxcala, Baja California, Guerrero, Chihuahua, Campeche and Colima, plus Mexico City, with the head of Government Claudia Sheinbaum. Being seven, of 32 states, with women in the governorship, which represents 22 percent.

Global target

For Karla Valverde Viesca, attached to the Center for Political Studies of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the UNAM as an academic and researcher, these results are not something new, since they have fought a lot for it.

He said that the Parlatino, promoted by the UN, establishes this idea of ​​parity democracy so as not to exclude various sectors of the population, such as women. Therefore, it aims to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and this was included as a specific objective in the 20-30 agenda.

“We are not the only country that we are proposing or trying to move towards that, there is a global effort in that sense and it responds to a normative framework of a United Nations organization, which is focusing the discussion and is also setting a certain course”, mentioned.

Hence, in terms of establishing parity as a principle and as a constitutional rule in our country, political parties can, through the registration of candidacies, postulate in an equal manner, in terms of substantive equality between the sexes and the inclusion of women in public decision-making spaces.

“What a pleasure that these spaces are opened for women, but there is still a lot, it is not a point of arrival, I would say that it is a starting point,” explained Valverde.

Forcing parties

In this regard, Flavia Freidenberg indicated that these results once again show that the parties had to be forced to put women candidates for the 2014 constitutional reform, reinforced by the 2019 constitutional mandate, in addition to the requirement in 2021 that state positions should also meet parity.

For the researcher, having now seven governors means a very important leap in terms of the political representation of women in the Mexican political system, because this implies that the representation of women must not only occur at the legislative level, but also in the other important decision-making positions.

“This shows that if women are in the candidacies, they win elections,” he said. Flavia Freidenberg indicated that in recent decades Mexico has undergone an important transformation process regarding the political representation of women. The clearest evidence in this regard is that, after two federal electoral processes, the integration of the Chamber of Deputies has been equal.

In the 2018 election, there was a quasi-parity integration and in 2021 there are 248 women legislators, out of 500 seats, which represents 49.6 percent of the representation of women in this Chamber.

Machismo in politics

“If one looks at the federal Legislative level, then we could say that we are facing real parity, not just formal parity in the legislative integration of the Chamber and, indeed, this is a substantive advance in relation to the political history of Mexico”, he pointed. However, these figures do not show gender parity in Mexican politics, but only at the federal Legislative level, since other data should be added to this result, such as results at other institutional levels.

Dr. Valverde commented that, although there was a rule to nominate women for parity, on the one hand, there is the idea that women cannot, should not or that they better dedicate themselves to another activity that is not politics, part of the discrimination they face and, on the other hand, the macho culture, in which men have traditionally been those who have dedicated themselves to politics, so it has been difficult to “move that wall”.

Something that also happens in other economic or business areas. However, with the visibility of the issue, it has been seen that there are women very prepared for decision-making positions, he added.

“Not because we have a Congress with a good gender quota and with very acceptable parity percentages, we are in a parity democracy, for this we would have to expand this and not leave it in the political-electoral sphere, expand it,” he said.

Access to equality

According to Freidenberg, in local Congresses, for example, the number of female representation has also increased, at least this has been observed in the research project, which is being developed at the UNAM Institute of Legal Research, which shows that at least 30 percentage points have advanced.

The integration of women in state congresses from 1987 to the present, which shows that the gender gap has also been reduced in state legislatures, something important to gradually reduce the differences of access in the equality of men and women in Mexican politics. “But much remains to say that it is done, we have arrived and the result is final in terms of that equality,” he clarified.

Freidenberg stated that the main cause that explains the reduction of the gender gap in women’s access to legislatures, state or federal, has not so much to do with the fact that citizens now voted for women, but rather with the fact that that until now women have been able to access the candidacies, thanks to the reform and strengthening of the gender electoral regime, which refers to the rules that establish the way in which political parties must register candidacies for elected positions popular.

“In the last 30 years, Mexico has been strengthening that gender electoral regime, first it recommended that the parties put women in the candidacies, then it forced the parties to put 30 percent, then 40 percent and already since the reform Constitution of 2014, Mexico requires parties to establish gender parity. Since we have approved parity, the gender electoral regime has been strengthened and that is what explains that today we have more women elected ”, he explained.

Towards a parity country

For Karla Valverde, in the electoral political sphere in Mexico, progress has been made, but because constitutional, legal, and public policy reforms have been sought that allow or promote substantive equality.

“We are also supposed to have it economically, socially, culturally, in daily life, but no, we still haven’t achieved that.” Freidenberg said that Mexico is working to build a more equal country, examples of which are the broad women’s movement, the feminist movement, electoral authorities, both jurisdictional and administrative, as well as the women themselves in political parties.

“Of course, more can always be done, we have outstanding debts with respect to local bodies, to the municipal presidencies that, in this last election, women will reach 30 percent of the municipal presidencies and, above all, what we have to think about that in a society where 50 percent of the population is female, since it corresponds to 50 percent of the power, at least at all institutional levels, “he said.

In the words of the researcher, although progress has been made in Mexico, there are still obstacles, not only for equal access to representation positions by women, since there are deficits and barriers in relation to the appointment bodies, such as cabinets , and there is still a lot of work on cultural transformation because there are still significant levels of political violence based on gender, not only when they want to access positions, but also when they want to hold positions under equal conditions.

Therefore, Mexico, compared to other countries in the region, has made significant progress in recent years, but there is still a long way to go from formal equality to real equality, Freidenberg said.

The data

Parity in the Chamber

In the 2018 election, there was a quasi-parity integration and in 2021 there are 248 women legislators, out of 500 seats, which represents 49.6 percent of the representation of women in this Chamber.

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Women rule

After the 2021 elections, six women will govern the states of Tlaxcala, Baja California, Guerrero, Chihuahua, Campeche and Colima, plus Mexico City with the head of Government Claudia Sheinbaum.

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