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Building an Inclusive Mexico

Policies and Good Governance for Gender Equality

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Mexico is slowly advancing on the path to gender equality. Many public policies aimed at empowering women are now in place: over the past two decades, Mexico has increased investments in girls' education, greatly expanded childcare and preschool, improved gender mainstreaming in government, and ensured that female politicians are well-represented at the ballot box. Yet, despite these efforts, many Mexican women still do not feel the effects of these policies at home, at work, or in public spaces. Large gender gaps remain in educational outcomes, participation in the labour market, pay, informality status, and hours of unpaid childcare and housework. “Unlocking Mexico’s full potential,” as Mexico's National Development Plan prescribes, will depend crucially on how well Mexico closes existing gender gaps in political, social and economic life and promotes real social change. Mexico must continue to invest in social and labour market policies that empower women, and reinvigorate efforts to reduce inequalities in education, labour force participation, job quality, unpaid work, and leadership. This will require embedding gender equality objectives in all public policies and budgets, across all levels of government, and ensuring the effective implementation, enforcement, and evaluation of policies and laws to achieve inclusive outcomes.

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Bringing women to the decision-making table

This chapter provides an overview of trends in women’s participation in public life in Mexico – in Congress, the courts and the Federal Public Administration. While Mexico has made significant progress in increasing women’s representation in elected bodies over recent years – making it one of the top OECD countries for female political participation – their access to positions of power within both Houses of Congress remains uneven. There are still gender gaps in access to leadership in the judicial and executive branches of government, too, and in the Federal Public Administration. The chapter examines the mechanisms and policies in place to support women’s access to positions of power. It also explores the barriers to women’s participation in public life and in senior positions, such as political violence, a culture of long hours and limited work-life balance policies. It closes with a series of targeted recommendations.

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