Women in Contemporary Mexican Politics

Women in Contemporary Mexican Politics

Women in Contemporary Mexican Politics

Women in Contemporary Mexican Politics

Synopsis

Since the mid-1980s, a dramatic opening in Mexico's political and electoral processes, combined with the growth of a new civic culture, has created unprecedented opportunities for women and other previously repressed or ignored groups to participate in the political life of the nation. In this book, Victoria Rodriguez offers a comprehensive analysis of how Mexican women have taken advantage of new opportunities to participate in the political process through elected and appointed office, nongovernmental organizations and grassroots activism.

Excerpt

MEXICAN WOMEN ARE KNOWN and celebrated all over the world: in the arts, Frida Kahlo; in religion, the Virgin of Guadalupe; in literature, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. These are some of the most outstanding and legendary womenof the Americas and, indeed, of the Western world. Others, while perhaps not as widely known outside of Mexico, still have a powerful and transcendent presence, particularly in shaping the history of the nation: la Malinche, la Güera Rodríguez, la Corregidora. In contemporary Mexico, women make up slightly over half of the population; over one-third of the labor force; and almost one-half of the student body in institutions of higher education. Yet their presence in the political world is relatively small. My intention in this book is to trace the evolution of the feminization of Mexican public life and to assess what the future holds for women. At a broader level, my goal is to offer one particular (gendered) optic about the process of democratic change in Mexico.

The research that led to this book began to take shape in early 1994. This was a particularly exciting time politically in Mexico, as the coun-

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