Robredo: PH leaders’ words make gender discrimination worse

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MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said on Tuesday, March 13, that the country’s leaders should be heading efforts against gender stereotyping and discrimination against women.

At a talk on women empowerment and gender equality, Robredo however conceded that given public pronouncements by people in power – including that of President Rodrigo Duterte’s – society’s view of women might just remain unchanged.

Ganoon pa din. Parang ano lang, naha-highlight masyado iyong pagtingin na mababa sa mga babae. Nare-reduce iyong mga kababaihan sa mas mababang uri dahil lang siya babae. Ito, naha-highlight dahil sa mga statements na sinasabi, lalo na ng mga leaders,” said Robredo.

(It’s just going to be the same. This inferior view of women is only highlighted. Women are reduced as lesser individuals just because they’re women. These views are highlighted in the statements that are made, especially by our leaders.)

Robredo was asked her take on Philippine society’s treatment of women, given Duterte’s public remarks. The former Davao mayor has been known for making sexist remarks in public speeches.

Ito iyong nakikita, napapakinggan ng mga kabataan. So lalong nare-reinforce iyong mga hindi pantay na pagtingin sa babae saka sa lalaki. Nakakalungkot ito. Kinakampanya nga natin na basagin na sana ito. At incumbent sa amin na namumuno na manguna, manguna na iyong gender stereotyping, iyong mababang pagtingin sa mga kababaihan, baguhin na,” the Vice President added.

(This is what the youth see and hear. So the notion that women are not equal to men is reinforced. This is saddening because we are working to correct this view. It’s incumbent for leaders on the frontlines to correct gender stereotyping – viewing women as lesser persons.)

Robredo has long been an advocate of women’s rights, even before she entered politics. A member of the once-ruling Liberal Party (LP), her relationship with Duterte and his allies has been shaky, to say the least.

She was once a member of his Cabinet but resigned in December 2016 after she was told to stop attending meetings.

Prior to her resignation, Duterte joked about his apparent admiration of Robredo during a public event in Tacloban City. Robredo was housing secretary then, and the audience was made mostly of Super Typhoon Haiyan survivors.

Duterte has been repeatedly criticized for his remarks about and against women but his Palace spokespersons have insisted that the former Davao mayor is still pro-women. – Rappler.com

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