MANILA, Philippines – “Women are heroes,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in his message for International Women’s Day, celebrated on Wednesday, March 8.
“The entire world can look up to women – for their creativity, and imagination, for their courage and boldness, for their self-sacrifice and charity,” Duterte in his message sent to media on Wednesday.
The President, who has professed adoration for women, described them as having vital roles in Philippine society.
“Generations have been witness to the amazing ways by which women have transformed societies by playing the role of mothers, workers, intellectuals, educators, caregivers, soldiers, activists, artists, and leaders,” he said.
He made a commitment to empower women during his presidency.
Saying how the Philippines ranks high in Asia in gender equality, Duterte said, “My administration shall strive to maintain this distinction as well as continue to recognize their invaluable contributions in sports, science, governance, education, public service and the arts.”
The President’s attitude and approach to women have drawn mixed reactions.
As Davao City mayor, he championed pro-women reproductive health programs and Violence Against Women help desks described as “model” initiatives in local government by the Philippine Commission on Women.
But he has also drawn flak for remarks taken as derogatory to women, most infamously his rape remarks about an Australian missionary during the presidential campaign.
Vice President Leni Robredo herself described as “inappropriate” and “tasteless” Duterte’s remarks about her knees and other aspects of her physical appearance.
Duterte, a self-admitted “womanizer,” has never hesitated to express his admiration, in particular, for beautiful women. – Rappler.com