The importance of women in Mexico’s economy

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In Mexico, there are around 54 million women aged 15 or older. Of this section of the population, 24 million women are economically active, while 30 million are not, according to Inegi.

In this article, I discuss the importance of women in the Mexican economy regarding International Women’s Day, which is commemorated every March 8 and whose objective is to recognize the economic, political, and social rights of women and girls.

According to the latest figures from the National Occupation and Employment Survey (ENOE) of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), in Mexico, there are around 54 million women aged 15 or older. Of this section of the population, 24 million women are economically active, while 30 million are not. The difference between these populations is that the former have integrated into the labor market, while the latter has not.

Starting with the population of women who are not integrated into the labor markets; That is, those 30 million Mexican women, it is very important to recognize their work that is reflected in the human capital of Mexicans through the care of children, older adults, and citizens with disabilities. Without the hard work of these women, many families would already be disunited, helpless, or in crisis. Without a doubt, in our country, the role played by mothers, grandmothers, and daughters is essential for the social fabric and functioning of our communities. Although it cannot be easily measured in money, the impact that all of these women have is undoubtedly enormous. Therefore, a national care system that can partially remunerate this work would bring many benefits to our country.

Likewise, more and more women also play a primary role in all sectors of the economy because they are integrating into labor markets. In this case, we are talking about the other 24 million women aged 15 and over. According to the latest economic censuses from Inegi, the economic sectors where women participate the most are non-financial services and commerce. Virtually half of all workers in those two sectors are women. Even more important, these sectors continue to grow and take on much greater relevance in our economy, making the role of women in Mexican markets increasingly crucial.

Women occupy more jobs in sectors such as services and commerce is because they are preparing more than men, reaching a much higher level of schooling. In fact, in the last three decades, the percentage of women over 15 years of age with a high school level or higher has gone from 21% to 45%. This accelerated growth is not seen in the male population.

Despite the advancement of women in our economy, many of them continue to work in the informal sector, without access to well-paid work or social security. In fact, 55% of all women work in the informal sector, a level that has been maintained for at least two years. Seeking that more women have access to social security must be an objective for the next governments.

With all probabilities, the next President of the Executive Branch of the country will be a woman, either Xóchitl Gálvez or Claudia Sheinbaum. Hopefully, in this political situation, progress will be made in economic rights for all women who are integrated into the labor markets, as well as for all those who are not but who perform care work for other members of society.