Women make up over 84% of the unemployed in Yucatán

Labour statistics typically do not account for women working in the home or at small informal businesses. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Labor statistics typically do not account for women working in the home or at small informal businesses. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Women in Yucatán makeup 84.8% of the unemployed population, according to a recent report.

The data published by Mexican NGO, Acción Ciudadana Frente a la Pobreza, raises serious concerns regarding the status of women and their participation in the state’s economy.

María Ayala, chief researcher at Acción Ciudadana Frente a la Pobreza, stressed the importance of working to dismantle structural obstacles that women face when it comes to acquiring meaningful employment. 

The discouraging numbers come in the wake of several efforts by Yucatan’s state government to bring more women into the workforce. Such efforts have included entrepreneurship programs, education grants and women-only job fairs.

“There is still much to be done. We in the state government understand that we have to do our part to improve the quality of life of women in Yucatán. Women can trust that my government will always be on their side,” said Gov. Mauricio Vila at a ceremony commemorating international women’s day. 

Specialists such as Lucelly Carolina Burgos Suárez point out that the problem is not that women are not working, it is that they are working but not being paid.

“Women all over Mexico work, and they work very hard. The problem is that they are not being paid because they are the ones keeping up the home, working at small informal family shops and serving as caregivers to children and the elderly,” says Burgos Suáres.

Reliable job statistics in México are hard to come by as they only account for approximately 40% of total workers. Most jobs in Mexico are kept “off the books.” 

Women have been losing their jobs at a higher rate than men during the COVID-19 pandemic, compounding an already precarious situation. 

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.