Gender Equality in Mexico

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Flag of Mexico
Population (in Mil.) 122.07
Gross Domestic Product (In USD Billions - WB) 1,186.66
Sex Ratio (m/f) 0.96
Life Expectancy Ratio (f/m) 1.053333333
Fertility Rate 2.29
Estimated Earned Income (f/m) 0.43
Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (f/m) 27
Women in Parliament (in %) 36.8
Human Development Index 61/187
Social Institutions and Gender Index /86
Gender Inequality Index 61/186
Gender Equity Index 80/168
Women’s Economic Opportunity Index 41/128
Global Gender Gap Index 68/68
More information on variables


Women in Mexico face considerable discrimination and obstacles in the workplace, earning less than their male counterparts. The alarming cases of murder of women in the northern town of Ciudad Juarez has placed the social and economic status of Mexico under the international spotlight. Successive governments have attempted to strengthen domestic violence legislation and campaign to change misogynist attitudes towards women that appear to be one of the underlying causes for the numerous murders. The poor employment opportunities for Mexican women forces many to migrate overseas, where they gain low-paid employment.

Social Institutions

The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) measures gender-based discrimination in social norms, practices and laws across 160 countries. The SIGI comprises country profiles, a classification of countries and a database; it serves as a research, policy and advocacy tool for the development community and policy makers.

The SIGI covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions, spanning major socio-economic areas that affect women’s lives: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets, and restricted civil liberties. The SIGI’s variables quantify discriminatory social institutions such as unequal inheritance rights, early marriage, violence against women, and unequal land and property rights.

In the 2014 edition of the SIGI, Mexico was not classified in the SIGI due to lack of full dataset. It has lower discrimination in restricted civil liberties and higher discrimination in restricted access to resources and assets. Read the full country profile and access the data here:


In 2006, Parliarment adopted the General Act on Equality between Women and Men which aimed at establishing a mandatory link between the federal and the state level in the formulation of policies and legal provisions. In 2003, parliament adopted a law to promote the right of women to own land, to protect women's reproductive rights (including access to information about reproductive health).


While Mexico boasts very high employment rates of men (in 2004, 82.5% of males aged between 15 and 64 were in employment, the third highest figure among OECD countries) in contrast with low employment rates of women (41.3%, the second lowest figure among OECD countries). The share of women in the labour market has increased, however, growing from 34.2% in 1991 to 41.3% in 2004. 

According to government statistics, there are three times more male employers (5.4%) than female employers; while there are twice as many women than men in unpaid employment  (13.2 to 7% ). The significant pay gap is more pronounced amongst professionals (-5.6 pesos/hour), supervisors and managers (-5.2 pesos) and public servants and privator sector managers (-4.4 pesos).

It was not so long ago that the right to abortion was granted (april the 24th 2007). However it is only legal at the capital (Distrito Federal).


In 2003, females represented 50% of enrolments in undergraduate programmes. Although there are programmes where men (e.g. engineering) or women (nursing, education, and liberal studies) predominate, there are other areas where the ratio has been inverted, such as health sciences (currently 60% women), as well as social sciences and business administration (currently 55% women). However, the gender gap in postgraduate programmes persists: in 2003, the percentage of females in these programmes was 39.2, the 22nd such figure for the 28 OECD countries for which data are available.

Political Empowerment

All women received the right to vote in 1953; although some provinces allowed women the right to vote in provincial elections as early as 1922.

Beatriz Paredes is the head of the PRI, (Revolutionary Instutituonal Party). She is one of the few women involved in politics.

Read more


  • OECD, Thematic Review of Tertiary Education - Country Note for Mexico (2004)
  • CEDAW, Report on Mexico produced by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women under article 8 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention, and reply from the Government of Mexico (2005)

The Women, Business and the Law

Where are laws equal for men and women? 

The Women, Business and the Law report presents indicators based on laws and regulations affecting women's prospects as entrepreneurs and employees. Several of these indicators draw on the Gender Law Library, a collection of over 2,000 legal provisions impacting women's economic status. This report does not seek to judge or rank countries, but to provide information to inform discussions about women’s economic rights. Women, Business and the Law provides data covering 6 areas: accessing institutions,using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, building credit, and going to court. Read more about the methodology.

For detailed information on Mexico, please visit the Women, Business and
the Law Mexico


The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database

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The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database contains country level information on social, economic, political and cultural issues related to the gender inequalities embedded in those rights. Disparity on land access is one of the major causes for social and gender inequalities in rural areas, and it jeopardizes, as a consequence, rural food security as well as the wellbeing of individuals and families.

Six categories

The Database offers information on the 6 following Categories:

  • National legal frame
  • International treaties and conventions
  • Customary law 
  • Land tenure and related Institutions
  • Civil society organizations
  • Selected Land Related Statistics

For detailed information on Mexico, please visit the report on Mexico in the FAO Gender and Land Rights Database.

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