FEATURE5 November 2018

The year of the woman

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Women are more visible than ever in Mexican politics, and across the country they are shaking off long-held beliefs as traditional masculinity is challenged. By Sabine Stork and Graciela Sylva


In Mexico, successive administrations have promised – and failed – to tackle the rising violent-death toll. But the problem could be tackled with a softly, softly approach in future, with the election of left-wing veteran and populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador to lead the country. 

López Obrador (usually referred to as ‘Amlo’) was elected on a platform of zero tolerance towards Mexico’s powerful drug gangs and the country’s endemic corruption, while standing for reconciliation, and for ‘peace and love’.

Backing Amlo’s initiatives will be a large new cohort of female politicians, elected after moves to improve gender representation. In what has become known as ‘The Year of the Woman’, females will make up around half of both houses of the new Mexican congress.

Challenge to tradition

President-elect López Obrador is no macho strongman; some of his closest associates are women, notably Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City’s newly elected mayor, and campaign manager Tatiana Clouthier, who is generally considered to have ...