MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo urged Filipinas to unite against harassment, as she spoke during the One Billion Rising event in Legazpi City, Albay.
“Filipinas may be facing tumultuous times, but this is also our time to shine. It is in our solidarity that we can rise stronger than ever, not only for those within our midst, but for the last, the least, and the lost of our sisters,” Robredo said on Friday, March 23.
One Billion Rising is an international movement that aims to raise awareness of and end violence against women.
She said that women had been receiving the brunt of attacks, but this will not stop them from facing these head on. She added she had been a target of online harassment as well, apart from other notable women in government. (READ: Senate bills seek to protect women vs online harassment, violence)
“Although there have been so many recent events that attack and undermine our capabilities, women today have found the strength to fight, not only for themselves but for those who can’t,” she said.
“In politics, who fights now? The women. There are Secretary (Leila) De Lima, Ombudsman (Conchita Carpio) Morales, and (Chief Justice Maria Lourdes) Sereno,” Robredo added in Bicolano.
Robredo also lauded courageous women who takes part in the #MeToo movement. (READ: The deeper effect of name-calling women)
“Speaking out takes a huge amount of courage. We know that, right? Especially if you know who committed the transgression, especially if a family member committed the transgression,” she said in a mix of English and Bicolano.
Citing the global gender parity study by World Economic Forum, Robredo said the Philippines is better off in terms of gender equality.
However, she noted that the country ranked 10th out of 144 countries in 2017, sliding 3 notches down from previous year’s rank of 7th.
The study found that there is a worsening performance on political empowerment and economic participation for Filipino women.
State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) found in its recent study that more than one in every 10 women believe that violence is acceptable.
It also found that there was only a slight decrease from 7.3% in 2008 to 5.6% in 2013, despite implementation of laws.
In terms of political participation, there is a decline in share of women leaders in local elective posts, from 20% in 2010 to merely 11% in 2013, according to PIDS. – Rappler.com
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