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Sheinbaum’s victory reflects women’s growing influence in politics, says local expert

Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo
Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo Facebook page.
Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo

Claudia Sheinbaum, an environmental scientist and former mayor of Mexico City, was elected Mexico’s first female president on Sunday. KUNR got reaction from a local expert on the issue.

University of Nevada, Reno assistant professor Lydia Huerta is an expert on gender, race, and identity.

Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, she called Mexicans electing a woman president a historic milestone in a country rife with gender-based violence and misogyny.

“It's absolutely historic. The fact that Mexico has a woman president before the United States is beyond me,” Huerta said.

Sheinbaum’s victory highlights women’s progress in politics in a country with high rates of violence against women, she said.

Huerta specializes in feminism and gender studies. Part of her research examines the killing of women in Ciudad Juárez since 1993.

“I'm very curious as to how this is going to play out in her tenure as president, because… the rate of femicide has increased since 2007, steadily. And so I'm very curious to see how she's gonna deal with that,” Huerta said.

Huerta, who has family and friends living in Mexico, said there’s some level of concern.

“As soon as the results were announced, I was like, ‘Are they gonna let her live? Is she gonna get killed?’ And it’s terrible. But that’s the first thing I thought,” Huerta said. “Some of my old friends were like, ‘Oh, I think we’re gonna see a lot more femicide in Mexico’s future,’ because it’s gonna be a way of trying to dominate women even more, now that they have power.”

Huerta believes Sheinbaum's victory is an example of the ability of women in politics. She hopes to one day see a woman win the U.S. presidency, she said.

Maria joined KUNR Public Radio in December 2022 as a staff reporter. She is interested in stories about underserved communities, immigration, arts and culture, entertainment, education and health.