Why has the number of women in Mexican politics increased? Is it because of the nature of the Mexican political system? Are opportunities increasing for women or less-represented groups in general?

Mexico has remained one of the most stable regimes in this hemisphere. It is the only major Latin American country that has not experienced a major military coup in the post-World War II period. Each president elected since 1934 has survived his six-year term and then peacefully relinquished the position to his successor. Given the stability of the Mexican political structure, is it possible that circulation of the political elite has been allowing more women to rise to important positions? On the other hand, are gradual changes in attitudes toward gender roles, and broader educational and occupational opportunities more important factors?

The Mexican government has consistently strived to maintain high economic growth, and as old methods have proven to have unfavorable results on economy, polity and society, the PRI-led regime has proven flexible enough to adopt new or different approaches.

During the past fifteen years or so Mexico has undergone a process of increased economic liberalization and, nominally, democratization. Despite the drama being created around decentralization and democratization in Mexico, the legislature has been declining in power while government decision-making power has been increasingly centralized in the Presidency and various secretariats. It is interesting to note that as the number of deputies has increased, so has the ratio of women in the legislature.

The emphasis on economic growth at any cost rather than political equality has had serious implications on political decision-making in Mexico. Yet, the stability of the Mexican government has yet to be seriously challenged. Why and how has the state in Mexico been able to maintain this control despite the economic and political turmoil it has experienced? What are some of the changes or shifts that have occurred within the state as it has worked to hold on to legitimacy and power?

One of the ways that a regime can maintain stability and legitimacy is by ensuring economic growth. Conversely, prolonged economic failure will erode its legitimacy. Another important factor for survival is the rejuvenation of a regime by recruiting dynamic individuals into its leadership ranks.(1) Elite circulation provides a mechanism by which women and other under­represented social groups can attain access to positions of political decision-making.

Changes in the Mexican political structure may present new opportunities for female politicians. A new type of politician has risen to the fore: the technocrat.(2) Much like the cientificos of the porfiriato, the technocrats emphasize rational and methodological strategies in policy making. Unlike politicians of the past, the technocrat is not necessarily a charismatic mover-and-shaker or an adept personnel administrator. Rather, the technocrat possesses certain skills, education and professional experience which qualify her/him for certain positions.

An examination of female executive branch office-holders in the previous chapter shows a convergence of the backgrounds and qualifications with those of the male technocrats.(3) What are the implications of this on the careers of female politicians? In what ways do women politicians figure into the "technocratic revolution"? Are the women entering politics in higher numbers because of changes in the political structure such as the decreasing influence of the legislature, or greater reliance upon credentials in the executive branch?

The next sections will discuss the changes in the past several decades which have resulted in the ascendance of a new type of politician, the technocrat-politician. This politician is increasingly trained as a specialist, pragmatic and realistic, and lacks the electoral experience of many politicians from years before.

Circulation of the ruling elite is an important characteristic of a government that desires to maintain stability and legitimacy over a long period of time. The following section will discuss how elite circulation functions to facilitate the examination which follows of the viability of the technocratic state to this end.

Elite Circulation and the Rise of Technocracy in the Mexican Government

Elite circulation is an important mechanism for maintaining regime stability and legitimacy because it helps provide flexibility. This is the process of rejuvenation of a political elite by recruiting young, dynamic and skilled individuals to continue regime policies and foster a democratic appearance rather than that of an oligarchy. Other processes essential to regime flexibility include co-optation (such as financial incentives or public office), both legal and illegal out-migration, and permitting public protest. Co-optation manifests in many ways in the Mexican government, primarily through patron-client or mentor-protegé relationships and membership in camarillas. These alliances preserve party stability and control and provide rewards to those who help maintain the system. Out-migration and protest are permitted because they enable the expression of discontent and dissent while preserving the image of opportunity and mobility integral to maintaining legitimacy and support for a regime.

This section will discuss the concept of elite circulation and describe the categorization of the Mexican politician into different types, namely the político and the técnico. Next, I will discuss the differences among these types of politicians and the significance of the increasing dominance of the técnico, or the political technocrat, during the past twenty years. What does this change in type of politician mean for politics in general in Mexico? More specifically, does it positively or negatively affect the ability of women (or minorities in general) to attain top-level decision-making positions in the Mexican government?

Elite Circulation

Two early elite theorists, Gaetano Mosca and Vilfredo Pareto, emphasize the universality of the existence of a ruling elite composed of those individuals who directly or indirectly play a considerable part in government. Elite circulation is the process by which a closed group recruits new members, thus increasing select characteristics pertinent to its survival.(4)

Mosca and Pareto both state that the circulation of the governing elite is intrinsic to regime stability.

There is only one way to avoid what is called the death of a state or a nation . . . to provide for a slow but continuous modification of the ruling classes, for a slow but continuous assimilation by them of new elements of moral cohesion that gradually will supplant the old. . . . a nation . . . can, literally speaking, be immortal, provided it learns how to transform itself continuously without falling apart.(5)

The history of man is the history of the continuous replacement of certain elites . . .(6)

According to both, circulation of the ruling elite is not only necessary but desirable. "True circulation is desirable, because it promotes prosperity and strengthens society."(7) It can also act as a conservative force, preserving dominance of a ruling elite for an extended period of time. This is one way an elite can protect and preserve itself. However, the free circulation of talent is impeded by obstacles like inherited wealth, family connections and social rank.(8)

As mentioned earlier, the Mexican government has been the most stable in this hemisphere for sixty years. The continual and gradual elite circulation is one of the major reasons that the PRI-dominated government has maintained control and relative stability. Smith states that:

On the average, national elites in contemporary Mexico have undergone 90 percent renewal over the course of every three presidential terms. The significance of this fact is slightly modified by the tendency for long-time elite members to occupy particularly key positions but the basic pattern holds: the Mexican political elite has been self-renewing as well as self-perpetuating.(9)

Elite circulation can also serve as a co-optive mechanism, allowing a governing class can protect itself from individuals who might overthrow it. This is attained by granting "admission to membership in the governing class of any individual potentially dangerous to it provided he consents to serve it."(10)

This is an important mechanism that has not been overlooked by the Mexican government. The sectoral structure of the official party, the PRI, incorporates all the strata of society with a high potential for dissatisfaction. Wilfred Gruber points out that, in Mexico, "if leaders emerge, the elite will undertake great efforts to absorb them into, and neutralize them in, the existing organization of the Revolutionary Party."(11) Over the years, opposition parties have been given a greater voice in the legislature, while at the same time more power has been shifted to the presidency. Thus, the illusion of democratic participation and mobility is maintained.

The health of the economy or the success of an economic model also affect the legitimacy and stability of a regime and the governing elite. Both Mosca and Pareto contend that elite circulation increases during times of economic prosperity. "In periods of rapid economic growth . . . governing is a much easier task than when the economy stagnates . . ."(12) Centeno also notes that "those authoritarian regimes that depend on pure repression are much less successful economically than those who have institutionalized mechanisms for coapting opposition and maintaining social support" as Mexico has succeeded in doing.(13)

Growth in religious sentiment or changes in ideology also signal a shift or change in the governing elite. In the case of Mexico, the governing elite has increasingly defined its role in primarily economic terms, as will be discussed below. Camp notes that:

Among the ideological beliefs of Mexican politicians are a belief that the state should play a large role in economic development, a preference for pragmatism over divisive ideology, and a strong commitment to peace, order and political stability.(14)

Social change accompanied by economic tension result in instability and openings in the political structure that permit new actors to enter. This may been seen as both an opportunity to effect changes by the challengers but also a mechanism to relieve tension and co-opt or counter groups that pose a threat to the legitimacy and stability of the regime.

It might be argued that in Mexico elite circulation, or at least the appearance of circulation or change, is an essential mechanism to maintaining stability during times of economic crisis. During such periods, it may be wiser to simply coöpt dissenting individuals or groups by increasing their representation, permitting protest and offering small concessions with great pomp and ceremony, or sacrificing an officeholder and replacing her/him with another who at least appears to be different. These types of activities would preserve the stability of the regime and help bolster support and legitimacy rather than shattering it as did the military repression of student protestors in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in 1968.

The Rise of the Technocratic State

Originally, the words "technocracy" and "technocrat" referred to a movement that gained popularity in the United States during the 1930s.(15) A group of social engineers and technocrats, concerned with social and economic inequalities, believed that through the application of technology there could be abundance for all. Their radical plan would assure a more egalitarian distribution of goods by controlling the price-wage system and giving citizens greater control over production and distribution. However, this model was not chosen and would have been doomed to fail for two major reasons:

First, social issues are less adequately understood, precise and measurable (scientifically) than technical concerns. Second, expert decision-making bodies must also confront the highly emotional normative considerations . . .(16)

Following a technocratic ideology is one way of translating social issues and objectives into public policy, but it is not the most effective way to do so. In Mexico, the tecnócrata, or political technocrat has risen to the fore of the ruling elite during the past fifteen years, and has increasingly dominated the political structure. Following bottom-line logic, recent presidents have been able to make draconian cuts in social programs in order to meet debt payments to international lenders.

Technocrats view solutions to Mexico's problems as primarily economic. Like the científicos of the porfiriato, the political technocrats believe that the application of rational and logical policy planning and programming will remedy Mexico's ills.(17)

The political technocrat is not a new type of politician. Alemán's administration (1946-52) began cultivating an environment conducive to its growth and development. What is new is the extent to which the political technocrat has permeated the upper levels of decision-making, including the presidency, in the Mexican government.

The differences between the traditionally trained político and political technocrat (sometimes referred to as técnico and tecnócrata) are important because they result in different responses and considerations of the needs of a given constituency or population. The político is the traditionally trained politician, who has elective experience and skill in consensus and coalition building, bargaining and social intercourse.

The features that characterize the técnico include: an upper-middle to upper class social background; an urban birthplace (particularly Mexico City); youth (most born after 1939); a high level of education (four-year college degree or more); graduate education in the U.S. or Europe; little if any elective experience and a career path that tracks largely through the national bureaucracy.

The political technocrat is trained in skills needed to solve or manage problems on the basis of rationally efficient or apolitical criteria, placing an emphasis on the application of theoretical knowledge to problem-solving. The perspective of the current group of political technocrats is distinctly financial as economics degrees dominate the group. This type of politician also lacks the elective and partisan experience of many of her/his colleagues.

While differences between the político and técnico are ambiguous in some areas and make it difficult to make assertions based on these characteristics, Camp would argue that:

. . . in Mexico all top-level decision-makers are politicians but that it is possible to delineate certain types of politicians on the basis of education, career experiences, means of recruitment and sources of influence. Such variables contribute to the values and skills held by political technocrats and distinguish them from nontechnical public officials.(18)

Academic literature has identified and analyzed the técnico for over thirty years. During the past ten years, the significance of the distinction between the político and the political technocrat has been hotly debated, resulting in the redefinition and expansion of typologies of Mexican politicians. Lindau analyzes internal conflicts in the Mexican governing elite which he claims are hidden by the discussion of the focus on the político/técnico. He concludes that political and ideological differences in within elite factions are more important than career path and training.(20) However, Lindau fails to credit or recognize the effect of training, career path and other variables on the formation of ideology, planning and policy-making skills which is one of the main purposes of such typologies.

Recent research by Centeno and Maxfield analyzed the differences between types of politicians with a fourfold typology that includes políticos, burócratas políticos (political bureaucrats), técnicos, and tecnoburócratas.(21) The types of politicians are differentiated by four sets of variables: demographics and social origins, education, type of political activity and the government institutions that they dominate.

The políticos as a group are commonly referred to in Mexico as political "dinosaurs." The type of political activity linked to the político is mass mobilization or representation of one of the PRI's three sectors, the CTM (Confederación de Trabajadores Mexicanos), the CNC (Confederación Nacional de Campesinos), or the CNOP (Congreso Nacional de Organizaciones Populares) which serve to coöpt labor, peasants and the urban poor. The políticos, therefore, "serve as the 'ward bosses' of the system, managing the distribution of patronage, arranging attendance at political rallies, and securing electoral support for PRI candidates."(22)

The background characteristics of the político are very different from those of the technocrat. There is a much higher representation of worker and peasant backgrounds and rural birth, lower average educational attainment, and higher degrees of party militancy and commitment to the Revolutionary ideals.(23) The power of this group has been declining as resources for the PRI apparatus have been cut and its importance has diminished.

The burócratas políticos have made their careers within the party bureaucracy and function rather as political managers than electoral politicians.(24) They differ from the políticos in that they "do not directly represent any constituency, but are more concerned with the management of the central political apparatus as a whole."(25)

The burocratas políticos represent more a mixed group with a lower percentage of upper-class backgrounds than the técnicos and tecnócratas, but with a lower representation of peasant and working-class backgrounds than the políticos. They graduate from UNAM and other state universities, and are more likely to have studied abroad in Europe or Latin America than in the United States. The majority of this group hold law degrees. "Traditionally, this was the most powerful wing of the governing elite concerned with the maintenance of political stability with a minimum of change in the system."(26) The power of the burocrata político has been declining since the Echeverría administration.

The técnico is a specialist, usually trained in fields such as economics, agriculture, engineering and the natural sciences.(27) The técnico originates in the professional and managerial middle class. According to Centeno, this group consists of two sub-groups, the economists in SCHP (the Secretariat of the Treasury) and the banking sector, and engineers in the secretariats of Ecology and Urban Development (SEDUE) prior to 1992, Agriculture, Energy (SEMIP), and parts of Communications and Transport (SCT), Commerce and the parastatals. Centeno also includes doctors and scientists of the Secretariat of Health and the Social Security Administration, and diplomats in the Foreign Service in this category.(28) This group is more sensitive to limiting the role of the state in Mexican society, apolitical, and unwilling to play a role in the "dirty games" of politics but has been losing strength with the rise of the political technocrats who are not above such types of activity.(29)

The political technocrat, or tecnócrata, is a younger generation version of the técnico, and blends the characteristics of several politician types. They tend to come from upper-class social backgrounds and are more likely to have fathers who have held positions in the political elite. The political technocrat is more likely to study economics in UNAM and private universities such as the Colegio de Mexico, and to seek a graduate degree at a U.S. university. They lack elective office and grass-roots party experience, but make up for it with intraelite politicking. Membership in political cliques, known as camarillas has also been a highly important mechanism for their political success (and failure). As discussed above, the technocrats impart a distinctly financial perspective to policy-making in Mexico and seek economic solutions to all types of problems. Among female politicians and administrators, a subgroup strongly identified by the traits of the political technocrat raises the question: Are female politicians becoming increasingly like their male counterparts?

The history of the rise of the political technocrat is a complicated one. It is difficult to sort out the conditions that fomented their ascension from those that they created to bolster their position. Centeno analyzes three developments in the Mexican State which have allowed this situation to develop. First, power was centralized within a group of state institutions that espoused a technical-analytical model and sought to impose their perspective on the entire government apparatus. Second, the ruling elite became dominated by a cohesive faction with specialized training. Camarillas assured integration of the faction into the ruling elite and further limited recruitment. The third development was the growth the hegemony of a single, exclusive policy paradigm that emphasized optimal (economic) resource utilization and preservation of political stability.(30)

The tecnócratas reached a majority in the upper-levels of political decision-making for the first time during the De la Madrid administration. Although most of this group tends not to have party experience, an exception is a group of individuals who worked in the Institute for Political, Economic and Social Studies (IEPES), a PRI think-tank that helps write the party's presidential platform during election years.(31)

One of the main turning points that has contributed to the domination of the Mexican government by the technocrats stems from Echeverría's need to purge the políticos loyal to Díaz Ordaz with individuals whose loyalty was assured and who would support his policies.(32) According to Centeno, Echeverría remolded the civil service to fit his needs and aspirations with neither técnicos nor políticos, but a new group of bureaucrats that combined characteristics from both groups.

Over the past twenty years, the reorganization of Secretariats, resulting in shifts in power and influence in economic planning and decision-making, enabled the political technocrats to assure their own survival and dominance of the political structure. The Secretariat of Programming and Budgeting (SPP) was created in 1976 which rivalled the Treasury (SHCP) for control of the purse strings.

Many of the careers of current group of tecnócratas include tenure in SPP and IEPES. Nearly half of the De la Madrid and Salinas cabinets had worked in IEPES, and its replacement in 1991 with Fundación Cambio Siglo XXI highlights the importance of this organization not as an instrument of power but rather a locus of network connections.(33) The increasing homogenization of the governing elite, given the specific traits discussed above, is not a healthy development for Mexican politics.

. . . as political technocrats become more esteemed in the political system, and as they bring advanced educational experiences, both domestic and foreign, with them, they also bring intellectual baggage that is foreign to the needs of Mexico and her political system.(34)

In fact, the emphasis on meritocratic values, skills and education is counterbalanced by the reliance on informal credentials that include camarilla membership.

The technocratic revolution is not necessarily a woman-friendly one. It does not seek out women to participate in the upper echelons of power as tokens or political experiments. The women who attain these positions are very carefully selected, in fact even more so than their male counterparts.


The effects of the rise of the technocrat to primacy in the Mexican government are many. In further restricting recruitment by increasing the importance of membership in the president's camarilla and other credentials discussed above, "Salinas was concerned with creating a tightly knit group that would follow his directions for restructuring Mexico."(35)

The governing elite in Mexico is narrowing. It is likely that women who attain top-level decision-making positions are much more carefully selected by gatekeepers, patrons and mentors than their male peers. In her study of female appointees to U.S. state cabinets, Susan Carroll concludes that even less deviance from established standards and norms is tolerated from women in high-level positions simply because they are "physically identifiable with a conflict-producing societal group even if the women themselves do not psychologically identify themselves with that group."(36)

Because of this biological difference women are perceived as outsiders who could not automatically be trusted to be team players.(37) By more carefully scrutinizing women candidates for top-level positions and less often allowing women to deviate from accepted standards, a political leader is heading off any opposition to his candidate and circumventing any blame on his part for mistakes that this person might make. Carroll's conclusions may be applicable to the Mexican case. The high degree of homogeneity found among female elite-level executive branch office-holders would certainly point to a similar phenomenon.

Mexican women are attaining higher education, and those who matriculate into non-gender specific fields or traditionally male dominated fields such as law and economics are more likely to be able to pursue political careers. Additionally, those who attend selected universities, grow up in certain social circumstances, etc. have better chances of attaining top-level decision-making positions, as is the case with men.

The technocratic revolution has succeeded in narrowing the channels of recruitment and therefore reducing true elite circulation. Women who have attained elite positions in the executive branch are not so different from their male counterparts. The increase of women in those positions appears to be more a reflection of female generational differences as younger women selected the "correct" career and professional associations, and are slowly being matriculated into the upper echelons of the Mexican government.

Are contemporary leaders less biased against women in selecting their proteges and successors? A combination of societal factors, those who are in power are part of a generation that believes it is more acceptable for women to participate in politics, and structural factors allowing more women to enter careers that lead to political positions and the creation of more positions.

Attitudes toward women's participation in positions of authority are changing. Conversations with both Mexican men and women reveal that they are still quite conscious of the inequalities. Many women I spoke with believed that Mexican women's attitudes towards gender roles are changing much more quickly than the majority of the men.

Finally, since camarillas have played such an integral role in the consolidation of the power of the political technocrats, it will be interesting to analyze the participation of women in these political cliques. Do women have equal access to cliques and mentor/protegé relationships that would potentially lead to successful careers? No doubt a "good old boy" network exists in many ways within the Mexican government, leading to the question: Do women have their own professional and mentor/protegé networks or camarillas parallel to or distinct from the camarilla system in general? This facet of female political participation in Mexico merits further research.

The number of women will continue to expand in Mexican politics, but unless greater changes are made, the elite will continue to be selected from an increasingly narrow pool of individuals with highly specialized characteristics. This will prove to be a self-defeating process for the Mexican government.

Summary and Avenues for Future Research

While there have been several valuable studies on Latin American women's political participation, attitudes and public office holding at decision­making levels, much of this work needs to be updated. The current work is a preliminary step in the direction toward a more comprehensive survey of the backgrounds, associations, attitudes and career paths of female politicians in Mexico. The results of my analysis of the curricula vitae of female politicians has illuminated some key patterns. Overall, the total number of women in Mexican politics at all levels except the judiciary has slowly but climbed progressively with each administration since women were granted the right to vote in 1954. This growth has gained increasing momentum during the last three presidential administrations.

The rise in the number of women in the Legislature is partially due to an increase in the total number of deputies in the Chamber to allow for greater representation of opposition parties. Additionally, slightly higher percentages of women are elected to the Chamber of Deputies during presidential election years than during interim elections.

Since Lopez Portillo's appointment of the first woman to the position of Secretary in 1979, successive presidents have slowly increased the number of women holding cabinet-level positions. This increased representation is influenced by a number of factors, including broader educational and career opportunities for women and overall changes in attitudes toward gender roles.

Past studies of female politicians have shown that they are slightly less educated than their male counterparts. This has changed. The women are much better educated on the whole than their predecessors. The women politicians have been steadily improving their level of education and are nearly on par with their male colleagues. These women do still show a tendency to overrepresent urban areas which may help to explain their high levels of education. Level, place, and type of education have become key indicators of success in a given government career track. However, in a country where very few people graduate high school, the increasing level of education and high levels of urbanity of female politicians may signify crucial ideological differences between them and their constituencies.

Growing numbers of women are pursuing fields of study that are more highly politicized, especially law and economics. They also appear to continue to follow the same recruitment patterns as the men, as illustrated by a 50 percent rate of attendance at UNAM (National University). Education will continue to be a determining factor for office holding, and that may tend to impede the progress of rural and poor citizens to hold federal office.

Female politicians in Mexico are a growing and increasingly youthful group. In elected positions they tend to be younger as a group than their male counterparts. Female elite members also tend to be younger than their male colleagues, and have been entering elite positions at a younger age. Generational analysis revealed that women are entering elite-level office at an increasingly earlier average age than their predecessors. This marks a change from earlier patterns, and is perhaps one trend that will contribute toward more equal participation of women in political life.

Participation in public life at the local level, in parties and women's organizations is a characteristic of these female politicians that merits further research. This provides experience and hones skills of women who might not have the opportunity to enter politics via other channels, particularly education at UNAM or a career in the government bureaucracy. This may allow women with a broader array of backgrounds, credentials, experience and ideas the chance to exercise some influence at the policy-making level whether through office-holding, voting or participation in political pressure groups.

A surprisingly large percent of women declared participation in feminist/women's groups or political party office, a fact that may be useful in a later examination of women's participation in mentor/protegé networks and the camarilla system in general. Female politicians also reported holding local-level political office at higher rates than the men.

It appears that women's increasing access to positions in the political elite at all levels depends more on an expansion of women in political positions overall. The intensifying saturation of the top levels of the executive branch by the political technocrat is a key change, further narrowing the channels of recruitment and limiting the type of individual who might access those positions. This has serious implications for women and other under-represented minority groups.

Much more research is needed to determine whether these female politicians, as well as office-holders in lower levels, are from a homogeneous, urban, middle and upper class elite. Using rural-urban birth and the occupation of parents, a basic idea of the socioeconomic origins shows that just over three-quarters of these women come from middle class or wealthy urban backgrounds with professional/educated parents. As mentioned previously, class plays an important role in shaping individuals' experiences and assumptions that form the basis of their attitudes, behavior and motivations.

In order to further examine the full implications of the growing number of women in Mexican politics, more in-depth analysis is necessary and may reveal a wealth of previously untouched areas. Research on the attitudes, goals, legislative action, policy and program support of female politicians is essential to determine whether their presence in Mexican politics affects or broadens access to decision-making positions for other Mexican women.

A combination of questionnaire research and archival research would be necessary to accomplish this. Female politicians in all branches could be surveyed on their attitudes, goals, legislative action and policy and program sponsorship and support. Documentation could be obtained from the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and various Secretariats to confirm and elaborate their responses.

Questionnaire extensive research may also clarify the effect of life cycle on careers of female politicians and vice versa. For example, in some women's career histories, obvious gaps at certain ages during careers of some women might point to a time-out for child rearing. Is this common? How does it affect women's changes for mobility in the political structure? Is this a continuing trend? How has the age at marriage and birth of first child changed for Mexican women? Are younger women putting off marriage and children for careers in politics or the foreign service?

Analysis of women's membership and office-holding in women's and feminist organizations may be combined with information about teaching positions and kinship to provide information on camarillas. The existence of mentor-protege networks among women as a group and the ways that the interlock with the camarilla system in general would illuminate key behavioral traits of female politicians. Camp has had success obtaining such information from male politicians simply by interviewing them and asking: Who is your mentor?

Ambition is another factor which needs to be addressed in future research. Specifically, what factors or events contributed to an individual's pursuit of an elective office? What might be reasons a single-term deputy did not continue her political career? Changes in goals and ideals upon attaining elective office also need to be explored and compared to realizations gained by experience to identify characteristics that contribute to successful government careers for women. Administrative style and negotiating abilities are other related areas that need to be analyzed in order to clear many myths surrounding female politicians. Finally, this type of research opens the door for countless comparative studies of women from political systems and cultural perspectives. Nothing exists in a vacuum, particularly political systems. Trends and patterns found in Mexico might have parallels in countries with similar a political system, history, culture or level/type of economic development.


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