Is Mexico on the Verge of Electing Its First Woman President?

photographs of Xochitl Galvez and Claudia Sheinbaum

In a remarkable shift, Mexico, a nation historically steeped in machista traditions, is on the brink of embracing its first woman president. Impressively, this development would see Mexico surpassing the United States in electing a woman head of state.

Claudia Sheinbaum, the past Mayor of Mexico City, has notably risen as the leading candidate for the influential MORENA party. Should she triumph in the impending election, she'd not only mark a historical moment as Mexico's first woman president but also stand as the nation's first Jewish leader. Meanwhile, Xóchitl Gálvez, a business mogul and senator with Indigenous roots, is making her presence felt under the banner of Frente Amplio por México.

Claudia Sheinbaum at a podium

These advancements highlight a significant cultural shift in Mexico. With women currently holding 50% of the seats in Mexico's legislature, the country achieved gender parity in 2021, making it the most populous nation to do so. As the nation transformed its electoral process in the 1990s, women's rights activists leveraged the changes to advocate for gender quotas in Congress, culminating in a 2019 constitutional amendment aiming for gender parity across various sectors.

Still, it’s important to view these accomplishments within a broader context. Despite its commendable strides, Mexico ranks fourth worldwide regarding female representation in its legislature. On the other hand, the U.S. finds itself considerably behind, placed at an astonishing 77th rank.

Both Sheinbaum and Gálvez are not just tokens of woman representation. Their backgrounds and qualifications speak volumes about their capabilities. Sheinbaum has an academic background in environmental engineering, while Gálvez, with her grassroots beginning, later evolved as a tech entrepreneur and influential political figure.

Xochitl Galvez at a podium

Even as the rise of women politicians in Mexico is praiseworthy, it's important to acknowledge that the political arena largely remains under male dominance, evident in the structure of party leadership and allocation of resources.

And although the increasing presence of women in politics is noteworthy, its ripple effect is yet to bring significant upliftment in the day-to-day lives of Mexican women. Despite commendable efforts, such as the 2022 social security provision for domestic employees and the recent decriminalization of abortion, issues related to violence against women persist.

While the rise of women leaders marks a revolutionary shift, it's vital to maintain a balanced outlook, recognizing that a few leaders, regardless of their competence, can't undo deep-rooted prejudices overnight.

As Mexico potentially prepares to welcome its woman president, the broader narrative underscores the complexities of gender equality, representation, and the lasting shadows of age-old biases.

Thoughtful Latina girl observing a blonde, light-skinned doll

In the world where a child grows and learns, the toys they play with and the media they consume significantly influence their understanding of themselves and their surroundings. As they immerse themselves in these playful realities, they instinctively draw parallels between their personal experiences and those of the characters they encounter.

Keep ReadingShow less
A woman showcasing impressive breakdancing moves against a vibrant backdrop adorned with graffiti art.

Urban music encompasses a wide range of music genres that originate from vibrant and diverse communities. These musical styles often serve as a creative outlet and mirror the challenges, successes, and ordinary lives of the individuals residing in these areas. From Latin America to the Caribbean, urban music genres have evolved over time and continue to evolve so quickly it's hard to keep up. And no, it’s not all just “reggaeton.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Graphic design that illustrates a selection of cultural drinks originating from Latin America

Coffee might be the go-to pick-me-up for most people, but let's face it, sometimes you just need to spice things up a bit. These drinks have been around for centuries and have become a cornerstone of Latin American culture. So, if you're tired of the same old cup of joe and want to broaden your horizons, these alternatives are definitely worth a shot. Plus, they're all-natural energy boosters that come packed with a slew of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Keep ReadingShow less