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The Writing Is On The Wall: Mexico's Next President Will Be A Woman
After a week-long hiatus in the mountains, far from the internet and cell signals, Mexico Listo is back and better than ever1. And the news that greeted me as I descended back into civilization couldn't have been more encouraging: not one, but two major political victories for women in Mexico. This week, I am writing about one: the nearly undeniable fact that Mexico's next president will be a woman. I will write about the other victory in my next article.
On Wednesday, September 6, Mexico's governing party Morena chose Claudia Sheinbaum as it's candidate for the presidency of Mexico. For more background on Sheinbaum, please see my earlier articles here, here, and here. In summary, Claudia Sheinbaum is the former mayor of Mexico City. She holds a Ph.D. in Energy Engineering and is deeply focused on climate and the environment. She is very popular within the Morena party, and the Morena party is very popular in Mexico as a whole. Sheinbaum is, without a doubt, the candidate to beat.
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And what if she is beaten?
The opposition candidate - the candidate representing the coalition of opposition parties in Mexico - namely, the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Party of the Democratic Revolution, PRD), the Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party, PAN), and the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI) - is also a woman: Xóchitl Gálvez. You can read more about Gálvez in my earlier article here. In summary, Xóchitl Gálvez is a bicycle-riding indigenous senator who holds a degree in engineering and started her own successful communications and energy networking company. Outspoken, brash, and often funny, Gálvez comes off as a more approachable and endearing candidate than Sheinbaum. But the coalition she represents (dubbed the Frente Amplio, or Broad Front in recognition of the disparate political parties that make up the coalition) is not nearly as popular as Morena.
Current polling has Sheinbaum with 44% of popular support and Gálvez with 27%. Barring some heretofore unknown "third" party candidate (who just so happens to also be wildly popular) entering the race, Sheinbaum or Gálvez will be elected the next president of Mexico on June 2, 2024.
While the notion of a female president of Mexico may seem to some to be quite an unexpected turn in this traditionally machismo country, consider this: Mexico currently ranks fourth in the world in the percentage of women who hold national parliamentary/legislative offices. For many people, that must come as an astonishing statistic. So let me repeat it: Mexico is fourth in the world in the percentage of women holding national office. Women hold 50 percent of the national legislative seats in Mexico. That percentage is higher than any European nation. And the United States? In the world ranking of women in national legislative office, the U.S. holds the embarrassing position of 71. The U.S. is below Iraq in this statistic.
As I will further re-enforce with my next article, Mexico is eclipsing the United States in progressive politics, at least in regards to the representation and rights of women. And while it is sad that the United States' performance in this arena is so dismal, the U.S. need only look across its southern border for a shining example of what it too can perhaps hope to one day attain.
Actually, it's about the same.