The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the lead agency that makes government work for the promotion, protection and fulfillment of women's human rights and gender equality and women's empowerment, congratulates the women who braved the recent national and local elections and likewise dared to enter politics which is still viewed as a man's world.
On May 30, the Congress, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, declared 3rd District Camarines Sur Representative Ma. Leonor “Leni” Gerona-Robredo as the Vice President-elect of the country. Two other women leaders, former AKBAYAN PartylistRepresentative Risa Hontiveros and former Justice Secretary Leila De Lima have also been declared as the new members of the Senate for the upcoming 17th Congress.
”We are happy to note that the second highest position in the land will soon be occupied by a woman. Vice President-elect Robedo’s victory balances the leadership of the Executive branch and we are hopeful that our advocacies will be put on this government’s agenda with women in various levels of political leadership” said PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa.
“We also welcome the victories of Senator-elect Risa Hontiveros who has been in the forefront of the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (RPRH) and Senator-elect Leila De Lima who staunchly supported our Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children (VAWC) and Anti-Trafficking in Persons efforts during her stint as DOJ Secretary,” she added.
With Hontiveros and De Lima’s win, the number of women sitting in the Senate remains to be at six out of 24 (25%).
More women in leadership positions
Noting these victories of women at the national level political arena, the PCW reaffirms its call for the nation to support women in leadership and decision-making positions.
“Women's active and meaningful participation brings in women's perspective in governance and leadership in all aspects, thus expands the scope of policies and programs to include issues and concerns that affect women, children and their communities. We hope to see more women in local seats. We are optimistic that they can contribute to redefining of priorities and address women's gender-specific concerns, values and experiences, and providing new perspectives on mainstream political issues,” she said.
“Last National Women’s Month Celebration, PCW initiated a crowdsourcing of women’s agenda which the government should prioritize in the next six years. We hope that the newly-elected women and men leaders would take these recommendations and take concrete steps to address identified women’s issues along the areas of economic empowerment; social development; security, justice and peace; climate change and disaster risk reduction; and gender-responsive governance. Results of the Agenda ni Juana Crowdsourcing will be released in June,” Verzosa ended.
Based on 2013 national elections data, there are only 79 legislators out of 289 seats in the lower house for the 2013-2016. Commission on Elections (COMELEC) data also revealed that there are only 22.5 percent of the total gubernational positions are occupied by women. As of this writing, COMELEC is yet to release an official and sex-disaggregated list of winners for the 2016 elections at the local level.