MANILA, Philippines – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said on Tuesday, March 11, that a woman should be elected as Philippine president in 2016.
At the International Women’s Day celebration of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna, Santiago also said more women should be elected into office to help the Philippines meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of gender equality.
“We should have a female president in 2016. Research shows that when women are empowered as political leaders, countries often experience higher standards of living with positive developments in education, infrastructure, and health care,” Santiago said.
Out of the 15 Philippine presidents, only two are female, the late President Corazon Aquino and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“To achieve equality between males and females, since we have had 13 males, the next 11 presidents should be female,” said the senator, who ran for president in 1992.
More female lawmakers, less corruption
Santiago said research shows that a lawmaker’s gender “has a distinct impact on policy priorities” which “makes it critical that women are present in politics to represent the concerns of women and other marginalized sectors.”
“We have had female presidents and now we have a female chief justice. But Congress has never had a female Senate President, or a female Speaker. The greater majority in both chambers of Congress has always been men. Possibly, this is one reason why there is so much corruption in Congress,” she said.
Santiago, one of 6 female senators in the 16th Congress, encouraged voters to elect “6 qualified female candidates in the Senate in 2016, so that eventually we would have 12 male and 12 female senators at the same time.”
The senator also said while there is a Civil Service Commission (CSC) memorandum circular targeting 50-50 representation of women and men in executive positions, “overall, the proportionate share is 1:2 in favor of men holding top posts in the government.” – Rappler.com