Deputy Gastélum holds a Bachelor’s degree in law from Universidad de Occidente’s Guasave Campus in her home state of Sinaloa. She has a Master’s degree in family law and diplomas in parliamentary law, public policy on women’s rights, public administration, penal law and family law.
Gastélum has been a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) since 1978. She led the women’s branch of the party, first at the municipal and now at the national level, and also acted as a municipal, state and national political adviser.
Gastélum was a local deputy in the 56th and 59th Legislatures of the Congress of the State of Sinaloa, during which she chaired the Committee on Gender Equity and the Family as well as the Human Rights Committee. She distinguished herself as sponsor of the Law to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Family Violence and the Law to Protect the Rights of Girls, Boys and Adolescents.
Gastélum was a federal deputy in the 59th and 61st Legislatures. During that time, she chaired the Committee on Gender Equity and the Select Committee on Families. She co-drafted the General Law on the Access of Women to a Life Free From Violence.
Currently a senator in the 62nd Legislature (2012–2015), Gastélum chairs the Committee on Gender Equity and sits on committees on human rights, fisheries and constitutional issues.
At the international level, Gastélum is President of the Network of Women Parliamentarians of the Americas and Vice-President for Central America of Socialist International Women, and she represents Mexico within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.