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Gender violence crisis confronts Mexico’s first female leader as female mayor shot


Insights from the Wilson Center, Le Monde, Justice in Mexico, Context News

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The president-elect of Mexico Claudia Sheinbaum is the country’s first female leader. When she officially takes office in October, Mexico’s ongoing crisis of violence, especially against women, could be a potential top priority on her agenda.

Women are now better represented in Mexican politics than ever before, thanks in part to: constitutional amendment that mandates gender equality in candidacy nominations. But about ten women and girls are estimated killed every day in Mexico, many by their intimate partners or family members, according to government data. And Tuesday a Mexican Mayor Yolanda Sánchez from the town of Cotija, was killed by armed men.


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Mexico’s militarization may be part of the problem

Sources: The Wilson Center, the International Crisis Group

The militarization of public safety under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador — which Sheinbaum, as Obrador’s protégé, could continue — has put women and girls at risk, the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute has argued. Women detained by the military are at risk of violence, and in particular sexual violence: the military “have a license to do whatever they want to you,” a woman from Zacatecas, a state in central Mexico, told The International Crisis Group.

Women and girls are targeted ‘with impunity’

Sources: Human Rights Watch, NBC News, Justice in Mexico

In 2022, the Mexican government reported the killings of some 3,537 women, a quarter of which were classified as femicides, or killings that specifically targeted women, Human Rights Watch said. Activists say femicides are often not recognized and prosecuted as such, or not at all: “These crimes continue to happen because there is impunity,” a relative of a murdered woman told NBC News in 2022. If convictions are sought, possible sentences vary across Mexico’s 32 states, and there is no uniform definition of femicide, which hinders the ability to tackle the problem nationwide, according to Justice in Mexico.

Sheinbaum may be more sensitive to issues of gender-based violence – or not

Sources: Le Monde, Axios, Context News

Sheinbaum’s predecessor López Obrador was named “AmloMachisa”, or “sexist AMLO” by some critics, and he even suggested criticism of his leadership was a form of gender-based violence against men. But Sheinbaum represents a more modern and progressive style more left than López Obrador, a political scientist told Le Monde. That she is also a woman could mean that she is also more susceptible to gender-based violence, which could help”move the needle“On policies to protect women,” a public policy analyst told Axios. But Sheinbaum’s presidential manifesto ultimately focused on issues important to mena professor of gender and democracy told Context, perhaps to gain more conservative support.

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