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Marta Sahagún de Fox, the wife of former President Vicente Fox, said Wednesday in a speech to a Tijuana business group that the 50-50 ratio of women to men in Mexican universities bodes well for the future of Mexico and its gender equality. "This represents a great hope," she said.
But she said she was opposed to Mexican electoral quota requiring parties to have 40% of their candidates for the federal Congress be women. The quota caused havoc in races across the nation earlier this year, as many male candidates who had been selected for Chamber of Deputies races had to be replaced by women for the July 1 election. She said women do not need quotas: "We are capable of doing it by ourselves," she told the Tijuana chapter of the Mexican Employers' Association, COPARMEX.
She referred to how her husband would often pay homage to women during his 2000-2006 presidency by beginning his speeches by saying "Mexicanas y Mexicanos."
She defended her husband's right to speak his mind. Many PANistas are upset that Fox urged voters to elect as president the Institutional Revolutionary Party's Enrique Peña Nieto, whom Fox said was a far better candidate to lead Mexico than the leftist coalition's Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Fox spoke out after it looked like PAN candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota was going to finish third (which she did). Some PANistas are considering expelling Fox from the party. Sahagún said that her husband was guided by life principles, and that not all life principles are the property of any one party.
She said Mexico, to move ahead, needs for its citizens to contribute more. "The government can't do it all and society can't do it by itself," she said. She also said the country needs politicians and others who look forward, not backward.
Sahagún is now running, from Guanajuato state, the Vamos México charitable and educational foundation, where her husband runs the Centro Fox.
Sahagún tours El Trompo science museum in Tijuana on Tuesday. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).