Claudia Sheinbaum: From Activism to Winning Nobel Prize to being Mexico's President

By: GWL Team | Friday, 28 June 2024

Nobel prize-winner, Claudia Sheinbaum has become the first female President of Mexico after winning the 2024 presidential elections, defeating Xochitl Galvez. She will be taking office from October 1, 2024 succeeding her mentor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who is the current President of the country.

Politics plays a significant role in the functioning and growth of any nation. It is politics that defines which direction a country’s future will be headed towards.

The field of politics has traditionally been dominated by men with male candidates ruling the political sphere of any country. But in order to ensure holistic development of a nation, it is critical to include women in the political process as well. The UN believes that in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SAGs) by 2030, it is critical that women become a part of political and public life.

According to UN data, as of 1 June 2024, 27 countries have women as the Heads of State and/or Government. Moving at this pace, it will the world 130 years to achieve gender equality in the highest positions of power.

There has been a gradual shift in women’s representation in politics. Notably, Claudia Sheinbaum has recently made history by being chosen as Mexico’s very first woman female to be President elect.

With the end of presidential elections in Mexico, the country has finally moved the needle for gender equality leader in government following Claudia’s historic win by defeating Xochitl Galvez. Belonging to the Morena party’s candidate, she has secured her victory with 58.3 percent to 60.7 percent of the votes, according to National Electoral Institute of Mexico announcement.

Being the first woman to become the elected president of the country, Claudia pronounced her stature on the pages of history. Wielding tactics and following campaigns, let’s see how Claudia Sheinbaum has been sustaining in the political realm and won her triumph as the president along with a bit about her personal life too.

From Scientific Roots to Academic Excellence

Coming from an academical background of Scientist, Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo was born in Mexico to Mexican Jewish family on 24 June 1962. Her parents were scientist; Annie Pardo Cemo who’s a biologist and Carlos Sheinbaum Yoselevitz who’s a chemical engineer.

Earning her Ph.D from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in energy engineering in the year 1995, Claudia joined as faculty at the Institute of Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1995. Her interest towards academics made her a researcher at the Institute of Engineering. Besides, she is also Sistema Nacional de Investigadores’ and Mexican Academy of Sciences’ member.

Inspiring Political Journey

Claudia’s political career began during her youth when she was a Colombian guerrilla movement’s active supporter and a University Student Council’s (Consejo Estudiantil Universitario) member. She officially, forayed into politics by being appointed to the cabinet of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Head of Government of Mexico City and started serving as the Secretary of the Environment of the country from 5 December 2000 till 2006.

In the course of López Obrador’s campaign for the presidential election of 2012, he appended Claudia to the proposed cabinet for the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources. Following the destiny prompts, she joined the splinter movement of López in 2014. After being in the political sphere for a considerable time, she served as the mayor of Tlalpan for nearly two years, from 2015 to 2017. In the same year, Claudia secured first position in a poll by the National Regeneration Movement in order to determine the candidate of the party for the Head of Government of Mexico City. She received 15.9 percent of the vote while having Martí Batres, Mario Delgado, and Ricardo Monreal as the opponents.

After a year, in 2018, she got elected as the Head of Government of Mexico City for a six-year term, acquiring 47.08 percent votes. From 2018 to 2023, she secured her first title after becoming 1st Jewish woman government head. And finally, in 2024 she became the President of Mexico with her efforts and unwavering belief in herself.

Beacon of Strength

A scientist-cum-researcher turned politician, 64-year Claudia has become a source of inspiration for many. She is the flag-bearer of strength and power of women as a community. A Nobel prize-winning climate scientist, a Ph.D holder, a mayor and a president- all these titles have made her a role-model for girls across the globe.

While expressing her joy and gratitude, she wrote on her X handle, saying, “This is the triumph of the people of Mexico, of the peaceful revolution of consciences and the recognition of our people that the mandate to continue and advance with the Fourth Transformation of Public Life in Mexico is clear.”