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Girls & Women

Mexico City Just Elected Its First Female Mayor

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Why Global Citizens Should Care
Claudia Sheinbaum’s historic win represents a major victory for girls and women everywhere. Without representation, marginalized communities lack opportunities to advocate for themselves and shape the policies that affect them, perpetuating cycles of discrimination and poverty. You can join us by taking action here to empower girls and women.

Mexico City, the largest city in North America, elected its first-ever female mayor on Sunday, making history. According to exit polls, Claudia Sheinbaum earned between 47.5% and 55.5% of the vote in the race against six other candidates and will lead Mexico’s capital.

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While Sheinbaum is not the first woman to hold the post — Rosario Robles served as interim mayor in 1999 — the 56-year-old is the first to have been democratically elected to the position.

Sheinbaum is an environmental engineer with a PhD in physics, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). She served as environmental secretary under Mayor Andres Manuel López Obrador, her predecessor. Though Sheinbaum considers herself a science researcher at heart, according to Science Magazine, she wants others to know that she’s serious about making change.

Read more: What Mexico's New President-Elect Means for Poverty and Inequality

"Just because I might look like a skinny scientist doesn't mean I'm not going to crack down on crime here. I will," Sheinbaum told a crowd during her campaign.

Sheinbaum was one of more than 3,000 female candidates — a record-breaking number — to run in Mexico’s local and national elections this year, NPR reported. Over the past nine months, 132 political candidates have been killed in Mexico, making this election season an especially dangerous one for political hopefuls.

But Sheinbaum has remained undeterred and unafraid.

"We've converted fear into hope, hate into love, despondency into willpower, frustration into trust. There's no going back, this July 1, let's make history!" she tweeted on June 27.

People are celebrating the historic win on social media.