Women's Participation in Mexican Political Life

Women's Participation in Mexican Political Life

Women's Participation in Mexican Political Life

Women's Participation in Mexican Political Life

Synopsis

The Emerging Role of Women in Mexican Political Life is a collection of thirteen original essays which pulls together the expertise of well-known Mexicanist, Latin Americanist, & gender scholars from Mexico, the U.S., & Europe. The essays analyze the participation of women in different arenas of the Mexican political system: elected positions, appointed positions, grassroots leaders, voters, non-governmental organizations, unions, & so on. Altogether, the analysis includes essays on women from the various political parties, from different regions of the country, & from different levels of government (federal, state, local), making the book a truly representative sample of issues that affect the participation of women in Mexican political life.

Excerpt

Victoria E. Rodríguez

I cannot understand democracy without the participation of women. the struggle that began many years ago has not finished. the year 2005 is the goal for parity.

--Senator María Elena Chapa (PRI), August 1997

The July 1997 midterm election in Mexico has been widely hailed as historic. For the first time in over seventy years of one-party rule, the governing elite has become genuinely plural. the Congress is now led by the combined opposition forces of the Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party, PAN), to the right of the political spectrum, and the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Party of the Democratic Revolution, PRD), to the left. Although the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Party of the Institutionalized Revolution, PRI) remains the dominant party and governs nationally, there have been important opposition gains at the city and regional levels. Specifically, over 50 percent of the country's population is now governed by the opposition at the state and local levels, and more significantly, the three largest and most important metropolitan areas are in the hands of parties other than the PRI: Guadalajara and Monterrey have gone to the pan, and the Federal District (Mexico City proper) went to the prd on July 6, 1997. in the context of what was relatively recently called "a perfect dictatorship," a dramatic political opening is underway in Mexico.

If the 1997 election was historic, then how did the women fare? On the face of it, and compared with the situation that reigned before, the numbers look promising: Seventeen percent of the 1997-2000 Congress now consists of women (i.e., they occupy 85 seats out of 500). By way of contrast, in the United States women occupy 51 of the 435 seats in the House . . .

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