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Our debt to women

Over 2 million of women in Mexico have been told they shouldn't pursue an education
Young women walking down the street - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
07/11/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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A civilization will keep developing as long as each of its members has the opportunities to improve their skills under the best possible conditions. When the institutions, culture, and social behavior restrict the freedom of its individuals, societies will never find a way to solve their problems – moreover if there is no willingness to undergo such a radical transformation.

Our reflection on the role of women in our country is still a pending issue, yet abuse against them continues taking place in several regions and many have even lost their lives because of it. But it's not just that: according to the 2016 National Survey on Home Relationship Dynamics, over 2 million and a half of women have been told they shouldn't pursue an education. This is a preposterous claim coming from a country which is trying to eradicate violence at all levels.

The female population in Mexico represents 51.4% of its total inhabitants – a slight majority. Women of working age (between 20 to 59 years) are almost a third part of the Economically Active Population, pursuant to data of the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI). According to this source, in 2015, 29% of Mexican households are run by women.

Given the evidence available, it's pointless to belittle – and to deny – education to women. To restrict the potential of women in our country is to disable and weaken half of the population and a considerable portion of the productive sector. The presence of women in public spaces, industries, and society is vital; reason why they should also receive an adequate education.

Times have gradually changed the perspective on women. Today, they play a more relevant role than the one previously assigned to them by the popular culture. Despite some regional traditions still prevail where women are subjected to the whims of sexists attitudes, the truth is that the presence of women in the public life of Mexico is not only necessary and irreversible but should also be encouraged more fiercely.

What role do women play in Mexico, in national development, in our social and economic life? Given their demographic proportion, but above all, their role in our communities, they pull a considerable weight and their influence is vital to our development. In order for them to contribute to the reconfiguration of our country, we have to respect their dignity and stop seeing them as objects subservient to men. Mexican women will have a positive impact on public life when we uproot that toxic culture which oppresses them.

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