In The Women of Mexico City, 1796-1857, Sylvia Marina Arrom argues that the status of women in Mexico City improved during the nineteenth century. According to Arrom, households headed by females and instances of women working outside the home were much more common than scholars have estimated; efforts by the Mexican government to encourage female education resulted in increased female literacy; and influential male writers wrote pieces advocating education, employment, and increased family responsibilities for women, while deploring women’s political and marital inequality. Mention of the fact that the civil codes of 1870 and 1884 significantly advanced women’s rights would have further strengthened Arrom’s argument. Arrom does not discuss whether women’s improved status counteracted the effects on women of instability in the Mexican economy during the nineteenth century. However, this is not so much a weakness in her work as it is the inevitable result of scholars’ neglect of this period. Indeed, such gaps in Mexican history are precisely what make Arrom’s pioneering study an important addition to Latin American women’s history.
The passage is primarily concerned with doing which of the following?