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The importance of gender equality in Mexico

Article by GVI

GVI

Posted: November 28, 2022

3 min read

Goal five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) is gender equality. The UN recognises that this is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. 

In every part of the world, women and girls continue to encounter violence and discrimination. With strict gender roles and other inequalities, Mexico is no exception. 

To put it into perspective, women’s suffrage in Mexico was established 63 years ago. That might seem like a long time ago, but it was only in 2005 when sexual violence within a marriage became illegal in Mexico. 

Gender inequality in Mexico

According to Mexico News Daily, women in Mexico earn 14% less than men. The Borgen Project states that girls in rural areas have less access to education than boys, and a UN report outlines cases of child marriage, as well as high rates of domestic violence

It’s encouraging to know that efforts to address gender inequality and advocate for better conditions for Mexican women have resulted in concrete advances. And, the importance of gender equality in Mexico is taking centre stage.

Just a few years ago, the Congress of the Union approved a law that makes sending other people’s intimate photos and videos punishable with jail time.

How gender roles affect gender equality in Mexico

A large part of achieving gender equality is understanding the gender roles that people are expected to fulfil in order to be socially accepted

In Mexico, women are strongly encouraged to have children (73.3% of women over fifteen are mothers). That means joining the workforce becomes a secondary priority. This can lead to women being financially dependent on their male partners, and can also become a problem if women are unable to escape an abusive relationship because they aren’t financially independent. 

From a different perspective, men are often expected to take on the whole financial burden in a partnership between a man and woman. This can place huge economic pressure on men.

A shift in the gender equality conversation

The conversations around gender in Mexico are changing. While the challenges regarding gender inequality might seem endless, there’s a shift in the way people talk about issues such as sexual violence.

For example, in 2019, a song composed by Chilean women to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women went viral across the world, including Mexico. 

El violador en tu camino”, also known as “The Rapist is you”, has taken over the Spanish-speaking world. Many people identify with it, and many people are listening. Women are taking to the streets to protest, and with this mobilisation comes hope for further change. 

“And the fault wasn’t mine, not where I was, not how I dressed.” says the song. Generations before, public sentiment may have been different, but now, more people are starting to agree. Blaming the victim may soon become less culturally acceptable. This conversational shift may seem small, but it’s actually a substantial victory. 

What can you do to help

For over twenty years, GVI has been involved in women’s empowerment by assisting to remove socioeconomic barriers for women. By focusing on fields such as educational enhancement, healthcare education and income-generating initiatives, our programs add to women’s success in their quest for equality.

If you’re looking to contribute to gender equality initiatives for women, join one of our volunteer programs in Cambodia, Nepal, Costa Rica, South Africa or Ghana

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