Mexico: Gender statistics

Mexico City, September (SEMlac Special).– Statistical data provide a major tool to formulate, monitor and evaluate public policies and government actions, especially those aimed at promoting equality between men and women.

Against this background, the 14th International Meeting on Gender Statistics was held last September 4- 6 in Aguascalientes (Mexico).

The event was sponsored by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), the National Institute of Women (INMUJERES), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and UN-Women.

It was attended by representatives of Cuba , the Dominican Republic , France , Germany , Paraguay , Brazil , Colombia , Guatemala , Ecuador , Uruguay , Costa Rica , Honduras , Mexico , and the United States .

Its main topics included women’s empowerment, violence against women, and women’s involvement in political life.

Participants highlighted the need for accurate, comprehensive, timely and quality data to bridge the gender gap.

INMUJERES director Lorena Cruz favored the idea of incorporating the gender approach to statistical data development.

Sonia Montaño, head of ECLAC Gender Division, indicated that States are called upon to allocate additional resources for substantive gender equality.

Ana Güezmes, UN-Women representative in Mexico , is of the view that statistical data should be incorporated into evidence-based public budgets, plans and policies.

“Information empowers people and makes them demand government accountability,” she stressed.

“There are still many challenges ahead, including revolutionizing traditional sources of data, mainstreaming the gender perspective, and developing new collection and processing tools for national offices of statistics,” she emphasized.

The need to develop sex-disaggregated data has been underlined since the 1st World Conference on Women held in Mexico City in 1975. The 3rd Conference in Nairobi came up with 39 key indicators to identify women’s situation and living conditions, including equality, development, and gender violence.


Lack of visibility

Meeting participants reviewed the invisible, daily contribution of women to society.

Teresa Jácome, deputy-director of the Statistical Department at INMUJERES, presented the results of a survey conducted last year.

“The idea was to generate indicators to show women’s overburden and its impact on their personal and professional life,” she stressed.

“Over 52 percent of households require caregivers. And 58 percent of them are women aged 14 to 70,” she exemplified.

“The State should provide family support services within a legal, human-rights-based framework,” she added.

Former presidential candidate Patricia Mercado told SEMlac that not all government and academic institutions in Mexico generate sex-disaggregated statistical data.

“Women are not getting paid as they should; the wage gap between men and women sometimes exceeds 51 percent,” she noted.

“Over 30 percent of local women are still working in the informal sector,” she recalled.

Adrián Franco, director of the Government Statistics and Public Security Department at INEGI, said that violence against women is a multidimensional phenomenon.


Women’s political participation

A project seeking to strengthen women’s political participation and empowerment (SUMA) was launched at the meeting’s closing ceremony.

Cruz indicated that the idea is to promote the effective implementation of the general law on gender equality.

Martha L. Mícher, chairperson of the Parliamentary Commission on Gender Equality, said women account for 51.8 percent of the electoral roll and do not yet occupy as many decision-making positions as they should.

She highlighted the importance of eliminating violence and poverty to facilitate women’s involvement in society.

A cooperation agreement between INMUJERES and the Inter-American Commission of Women at the Organization of American States was signed at the meeting’s closing ceremony. It will seek to further promote women’s rights and gender equality on the American continent.

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