Concepts, Research, Policy
Edited by Sylvia Chant
Chapter 43: Gender, Poverty and Migration in Mexico
Haydea Izazola Gender and poverty in Mexico Women in Mexico have been relegated to the domestic sphere for centuries, with the roles of mother and householder’s companion constituting the principal sources of their identity and determinants of their behaviour. Women’s presence in the extra-domestic sphere has also been linked to roles as educator, teacher, servant and nurse, for example. It is only since the second half of the twentieth century, as a result of macrostructural changes linked to rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, that major changes have been recorded in women’s status as a result of their access to higher levels of educational attainment and birth control. From the 1970s onwards, Mexican women increased their participation in the labour force. In some cases, their resulting economic independence enabled them to overcome their subordinate situation, and increasingly assume the headship of their households. The recurrent economic crises of recent decades, however, as well as the adoption of structural adjustment policies that dismantled the nascent Mexican welfare state, has revealed the precarious living conditions of most of the population, particularly poor women. Poverty in Mexico Mexico is regarded as one of the countries with the greatest biodiversity worldwide. It has a population of 107 million, the majority of which (65 per cent) are within economically active ages, and it is conveniently located for the international market. These and other factors have made Mexico one of the world’s main economies. However, for several centuries it has been characterised by sharp socio-economic inequalities, resulting from...
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