During a time of increased violence towards women in Mexico, Citalli Hernández has found herself a part of the political revolution.
Hernández always dreamed of a job in politics, stating, “I always thought that something was wrong with the country, that I had to do something to transform it. I wanted to be the first woman president.”
Through persistence and dedication to her beliefs, Hernández was able to achieve her dream of a political career. In 2015, she won a seat in Mexico City’s local congress. She later went on to become the youngest person elected to Senate in Mexican history.
This string of victories sparked a political revolution in Mexico during a violent time for women.
In terms of gender equality, Mexico ranks 81st across the globe. Currently, the country is faced with a femicide epidemic: women are being murdered simply because of their gender. 3,256 women were murdered in 2017. What’s worse about these murders is that only 1.6 percent of them have resulted in sentencing.
On the issue of femicide in Mexico, Dilcya Garcia Espinoza de los Monteros, the deputy state prosecutor for gender violence crimes, said, “This problem is difficult to eradicate because it is rooted in ideas that assume that we as women are worth less than men, that we as women can be treated like trash.”
When Hernández entered Senate, she was one of the 300 women entering Mexican Congress, which, for the first time in the country, meant almost complete gender equality in both houses.
“It’s a historic opportunity to advance the rights of women. That’s why it falls on us to spread the example and inspire many more women to break cultural biases,” stated Hernández.
Following this surge of women holding office, a new hope for changes in legislation concerning women’s issues has evolved, such as the efforts being made to decrease the gender pay gap.
Women who have taken office have a powerful proponent on their side: Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Mexican president-elect, has made it very clear that he aligns himself with the fight for women’s rights. Newly-elected women are thrilled at the chance to work alongside López Obrador once he takes office. In fact, López Obrador has chosen women to lead different departments such as economy, energy, and labor.
On this rise in women in politics, Arizona State professor Magda Hinojosa stated, “Seeing women in office brings about tremendous social change. It sends a message that women are valued, that women absolutely belong in politics and everywhere else.”
With countries such as the United States also seeing a surge in women running for political office, it seems women worldwide have ignited a fire on the political front. With dedicated women like Mexico’s youngest senator Citalli Hernández taking office, the country will hopefully see changes during a dire time for women nationwide.
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