College of Science and Engineering


Cellular and Molecular Biology

Faculty Mentor

Heath Spencer, PhD

Faculty Editor

Marc McLeod, PhD

Student Editor

Lainey Ragsdale


This paper explores the positive and negative impacts of the Mexican Revolution on the freedoms, opportunities, and rights of women both during and after the war. The instability caused by the revolution allowed for the upheaval of social structures and the emergence of new, more egalitarian ideologies. Women earned influential positions in prominent fields and built powerful, public careers, thus challenging societal gender roles. In contrast, many women faced oppression, violence, and abuse throughout the war. The transient nature of both the rebel and Federal militaries, as well as their dependency on the support of women, gave rise to the soldadera: a contradictory position consisting of freedoms from and adherence to gender norms of female domesticity. The accomplishments of women were threatened by minimization and dismissal from media representation and political policies created in the initial aftermath of the revolution. However, these attempts to silence the progress of women’s rights proved ineffective in the long run. The ideas vocalized during the revolution gave rise to a post-revolutionary feminist movement, with international implications, that succeeded in achieving women’s suffrage. This paper argues that despite the hardships and setbacks, the Mexican Revolution ultimately provided the opportunity for advancement in women’s rights.