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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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Time poverty, informal work and women's jobs in Mexico

Mexican women and men struggle to secure good quality jobs and achieve work-life balance. Nearly 60% of working women and 50% of working men are in informal jobs. These high rates of informality correspond with lower earnings quality, job and income insecurity, and low levels of social protection, especially for women. Compared to workers in other OECD countries, Mexicans also spend very long hours in paid work. The culture of long paid hours, combined with Mexican women’s disproportionate responsibility for unpaid work, reinforces gendered outcomes in the labour market and at home. Fathers, who are more likely to commit to long hours in the workforce, lose out on valuable time with their family and are less able to contribute at home. Women, who typically devote more time to caring for family members, are more likely to scale back or drop out of the workforce entirely. Addressing these challenges will require the combined efforts of government, employers, and families.

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