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Dialogue between Olga Sánchez Cordero, Minister of Interior, Government of Mexico and Blanca Juana Gómez Morera, General Director, Grupo Expansión

13.06.2019

By Romane Beaudouin, Alice Morin

             

The Secretary of Government of the Government of Mexico, Olga Sánchez Cordero, spoke with Blanca Juana Gómez about her career, her vision of women in politics and about the challenges of women in life in general.

Olga Sánchez Cordero is the first woman in the Secretary of the Interior of Mexico. Before, she was a notary for 10 years and then decided to arrive in the judicial field, working 4 years in the Supreme Court and then as Minister of the Supreme Court for 21 years.

As a woman, she is a pioneer – residing as the Supreme Court Minister for almost 10 years. When she arrived in this position, she realized that there was no "gender perspective" in the trials (although this term was invented in the 1990s). The asymmetry between the chances of success for a man to win a trial against a woman (even if the woman was a victim) was very great. When divorce trials were democratized, women became highly vulnerable because they did not have access to justice. This reflects in Mexico today too, where security is challenged through the large number of instances of violence against women that can be psychological, economic, emotional and also physical.

The arrival of Olga Sánchez Cordero in these places of power, occupied by the majority of men, allowed her to change the vision of their male colleagues. When she arrived at the Supreme Court, there was a lot of machismo: she was motivated by the fact that there were no alternatives for women in places of power – so far as to exclude even bathrooms for women! The next step was to evangelize the judges of the country: "men can not realize the life of a woman," said Olga Sánchez Cordero.

According to her, there is a great obligation to share – when we collaborate and unite, we can go as far as we can achieve. Mothers and grandmothers must influence their granddaughters and daughters to take the step forward. Olga’s own progeny admire her, allowing her to guide her granddaughters and daughters to break the glass roofs: "they want to keep walking and triumph in life".

This encourages the possibility that women are becoming stronger and more committed to other women. "It is very important that you do not step on each other. She spoke of the sorority and solidarity that should exist among women. Women must have more self-esteem and support every woman who wants to achieve something. In the Ministry of the Interior, she faces several obstacles - but her biggest challenge is to show everyone that a woman can resolve it. No matter where you are, you have to fight to win in that space everyday. And there is a lot to be done, as there are still many spaces that women have to start filling. For a long time it was the only one woman in many places – but Olga strongly believes and reiterates that this will now change.

 

This article is part of a series on #WFAmericas. Watch the full session on YouTube.