Female Disadvantage in Mexican Economic ReactivationBy Sofía Hanna | Mon, 10/19/2020 - 14:04
On Oct. 5, President López Obrador and the private initiative announced an initiative to invest in 39 infrastructure projects to reactivate the national economy. The areas chosen to develop these projects were communications, energy, water, environment and transportation. Participation will not be equal for everyone in these projects, however, as not even 25 percent of the female population will take part of this project initiative.
Total investment for the 39 projects came to a total of MXN$297.3 billion (US$14 million) and seven of these projects are already active. This initiative started as an agreement between the Mexican government and the private sector for an investment equal to 1.5 percent of the country's GDP. According to the President López Obrador the government is actually planning to increase this investment for a second phase of the project.
Since 2005, there had been an increase in female participation in the labor market. According to INEGI, back then, women had a percentage of involvement of 39.9 and in 2020, this rate got to 45.4 percent. Once the COVID-19 pandemic came into the equation, however, these numbers took a big hit. Nowadays, 38.9 percent of women participate in the labor market, which is even lower than in 2005.
According to the National Job and Occupation Survey by INEGI, based on the industries of these 39 reactivation projects, female participation would be the following: 21 percent in water, gas and electricity projects, 9 percent in transportation projects and 14 percent in mining projects. According to the survey, the areas where more women are working are the ones with less economic impact. According to the INEGI, since the pandemic, home labors have increased and women are the ones taking on that added responsibility, alienating them from the labor market.
According to official institutions such as CEPAL, if Mexico does not create more incentives and programs to help strengthen the economy, there will be a bigger labor issue than there already is because of the pandemic.