PCW slams sexist bikini image in a major daily

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the government’s policymaking and oversight agency for gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Office of the President, slams the sexist portrayal of Ms Bikini in the May 23, 2015 front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the leading broadsheets in the country.

The front page contained a photo of the winner of the Ms Bikini pageant in a provocative pose. PCW is alarmed and aghast with the sexist and sexual portrayal of the young woman in the reputable broadsheet.

“The angle and the pose of the woman in the photo depict commodification of women’s bodies. While we advocate the importance of being fit, living an active lifestyle and staying healthy, we believe that there are other ways to depict a woman’s healthy and fit body other than a photo that portrays her in a sexualized manner. That the broadsheet blurred the image of her hand on her private part drew more attention and curiosity to the photo. PCW regrets to ask this question: does the Philippine Daily Inquirer need to do this to increase sales? That is selling women’s bodies. Women’s dignity and bodily integrity should be upheld and presenting them as sexual objects violates the Magna Carta of Women,” PCW Executive Director Emmeline Verzosa said.

Section 19 of the RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) Implementing Rules and Regulations provides for a non-derogatory and non-discriminatory portrayal of women in media and film. It also states that the portrayal of women in a discriminatory, demeaning and/or derogatory manner is prohibited. The Gender Equality Committee (GEC) for Media has issued guidelines, Towards a Gender-Fair Media, to promote a better and fairer perspective of women in media.

“We hope that our national and local media adhere to the guidelines and code of ethics by exercising gender sensitivity and portraying women in positive and wholesome images.” Verzosa added.