Women in Mexico's Political Transition

Mar 31st, 2019 10:30 am
Laura Carlsen

The new administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador came into office on the promise, among other things, of gender equality in government. In numbers, it has complied--the MORENA-dominated Congress and the new cabinet are have made history by being comprised of close to half women. Mexico's government is now one of the most equal in the world in terms of women's representation.

But we know that parity is not enough to fight patriarchy, especially in a country with a deep-seated macho culture and epidemic levels of violence against women. So far, the government's demonstrated commitment to advancing women's rights and well-being has been erratic and has caused some confusion. The withdrawal for subsidies for women's shelters sent up an outcry, although it was later explained that funding will continue. There is concern that other vital services to address violence will be cut back in the face of austerity measures and indications that the new government so far has emphasized women in government over real policy change. The major speeches so far of the Fourth Transformation often do not mention gender equality or women's rights and there have been few major policy announcements in this area. The agenda for women's equality is long and urgent: guaranteeing full exercise of citizenship and access to politics on all levels, gender perspectives in policy and implementation, an end to sexual abuse and harassment, and the elimination of violence against women in all spheres. Do the policies and actions of the new government reflect the commitment to gender justice? What has been done and what more needs to be done?

Laura Carlsen holds an interdisciplinary Bachelors Degree in women's studies from Stanford University and a Masters in Latin American Studies also from Stanford. She is currently the director of the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy. She has written extensively on Mexican politics and gender justice and is an advisor to the Global Fund for Women, the Nobel Women's Initiative and Just Associates, an international feminist movement-building organization and a founding member of the Mexican Network of Women Human Rights Defenders.

This talk is sponsored by Ser Mujer and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.  The previous day she will also be speaking for the Center for Global Justice. 

Hotel La Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15, Centro
San Miguel de Allende, GUA 37700

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