Breaking Barriers: A Closer Look at the Female-Led Presidential Race Shaping the Nation’s Future

By Jenny Xu

In a historic dance of democracy, Mexico is poised for a political revolution as two accomplished women step into the forefront. This new era explores the dynamic landscape of the female-led presidential race, where ambition meets empowerment and the unprecedented shift that promises to redefine the nation’s political narrative. The atmosphere is charged up with Claudia Sheinbaum, the candidate of the ruling Morena Party, and Senator Xochitl Gavitz, representing the opposition alliance as fierce competitors in vying to succeed the departing leader, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. This article looks at the vibrant personal histories of these two remarkable women and their transformative journeys that spanned various undertakings such as education, business, and now politics.

Claudia Sheinbaum is a combination of scientific brilliance and political sense. This woman, once a famous physicist, has now moved to the very front of Mexican politics. Having a Ph.D. in energy engineering, Sheinbaum started a career that combined academia and public service and, finally, in 2018, the mayor of Mexico City. Sheinbaum’s academic prowess and commitment to her field set the stage for this meteoric rise. She was born as a Mexican in Mexico City in 1962 and went on to get a degree in physics, a field dominated by men. Disregarding gender norms, she pursued higher education, earning a Ph.D. in energy engineering. In 2018, Sheinbaum achieved another great feat for a female politician by becoming the first female mayor of Mexico. During her time in this critical position, she used this platform to address serious concerns of the rapidly growing city. That was when she proved to be a leader who could cope with the intricacies of urbanism. Stepping into the arena as the nominee for Morena towards the 2024 presidential elections, Sheinbaum comes not only with extensive political experience but also a unique scientific perspective and administrative competence. Her story proves that an academic can become a politician. Claudia Sheinbaum is a symbol of breaking the barriers, going against the grain, and making a place for women at the top of the power hierarchy in Mexico.

The opposition coalition’s candidate is Senator Xóchitl Gálvez- a computer engineer turned businesswoman who runs an opposing campaign against Sheinbaum. Gálvez was born into a lower-class family in a rural area of Mexico. Despite this, her unwavering spirit and desire to learn helped her defy the odds against her. Obtaining a scholarship allowed her to gain a degree in computer engineering, which provided her with the opportunity to start her later projects. Gálvez’s career veered toward entrepreneurship as she departed from technology and grew into a successful businesswoman. High Tech Services is a smart-buildings company founded by her. Her ability to operate simultaneously in the technical and business arena is also evident. Soon, this spirit of entrepreneurship would become part of her political career. Her journey into politics was a significant turning point, as she served as the first female mayor of Mexico City’s Miguel Hidalgo borough for three years (2015-2018). Her needle-moving position as mayor illustrated her determination to deliver services to the public, and she also became the symbol of progress and empowerment for women in Mexican politics.

This presidential race represents decades of progress that has led to increased female representation in Mexican politics, taking into account its historical nature. Mexico has made progress. Half the Congress, cabinet, and about one-third of state governors are women. Although some progress has been made, high rates of violence against women, disparities in pay based on gender, and other important women’s rights violations persist. Activists are skeptical about how far the 2024 election can transform political, economic, and violent issues. However, with either of these incredible women in power, the future for women’s rights in Mexico may be brighter. 


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