The head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, has inaugurated four new statues of women this Wednesday with the purpose of telling “a fairer story” from the Paseo de la Reforma. The unveiled figures are Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Josefa Ortiz, Gertrudis Bocanegra and Margarita Maza and their installation confirms the symbolic value that the authorities of the capital want to give to the monuments. “We have already said it, when we talk about the monument to Columbus: the statues and the names of the streets of the city are legacies that we leave for future generations, they are historical marks that should make us remember our past with dignity,” said the Head of Government , Claudia Sheinbaum.
The statues have been erected in the most emblematic avenue of the city. Their metal-carved faces have witnessed an inauguration led by Sheinbaum, accompanied by other female officials, in front of an audience of more than 100 female students from the schools named after the women honored. “The best that can happen is that the girls of our city and of our country go through the walk and recognize themselves in these women,” said the head of government.
The objective of the statues is to recognize that women have been made invisible and give them a place “in the new lane of social memory” to “contribute to a more egalitarian, fair and realistic narrative of history,” said the president of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City, Nashieli Ramírez. “Power relations are built in time and deconstructed in space,” he indicated.
These characters had the privilege of accessing the best education, despite the fact that they were born in another time, he mentioned. “That’s why the message that students bearing the same name are here,” he argued. Tamara Hernández, Cetis 9 student Josefa Ortiz (from Domínguez) commented that at first she did not understand the reason for the event, but she liked it “when they discovered the statues”. “The monuments symbolize us as people and make us grow as women,” added his partner Italia Naomi, 16 years old.
The four figures have joined the Paseo de las Heroinas, where, wearing green scarves – a symbol of the fight for the decriminalization of abortion – they have joined the monuments to Leona Vicario and another dedicated to “the anonymous Mexican forgers of the homeland” . In this section of the avenue that goes from the Angel of Independence to the statue of Diana the Huntress, the Government plans to erect 14 monuments.
A day earlier, the streets of the heart of the city were painted green in the march for the global day of action for free and safe abortion. The protesters painted the Angel of Independence to demand, among other things, the decriminalization of abortion throughout the country. For two years, after the demonstrations against sexist violence in Mexico where groups of women painted statues and created the anti-monument to the Revolution to alert the world about the structural violence suffered by women in the country, the Government has defended the importance of caring for national symbols such as monuments.
The capital government did not mention the demands that the feminist movement has left inscribed on the monuments. In parallel, Sheinbaum has said that the statues also seek to end the “historical silence as a form of violence that it submits.” “The fact that there are no women in the Paseo de la Reforma is a violence that subdues, annihilates and determines a present, but also the future,” he reinforced.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.