Duterte cites need for 'enabling environment' to empower women

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2019 02:44 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte takes selfies with supporters on the sidelines of the the Ten Outstanding Young Men and Women of 2016 awarding ceremony at Malacañang, December 12, 2016. Rey Banquet, Malacañang Photo/File

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday called on institutions to work on addressing women's needs, recognize their contributions to society and support their empowerment on the commemoration of International Women's Day. 

In a statement, Duterte said the occasion “reminds us all to pave the way for an enabling environment for women to be empowered and to make sure that the Magna Carta for Women is properly implemented at all levels of government.”

The President also called on stakeholders to create and facilitate platforms to discuss best practices, gaps and challenges in pursuing gender equality and development in local government units all over the country.

“May this even serve as a testament to our firm commitment to always inform and engage various stakeholders - whether in government, the private sector or in civic organizations,” he said.

“In this manner, we can promote gender equality and put in place functional mechanisms that ensure that any development effort would be inclusive and gender responsive.”

Duterte has been accused of being misogynist for his statements that supposedly belittle the value and capabilities of women. He has also been accused of objectifying women and making inappropriate jokes.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the administration has been at the forefront in advancing women’s rights. 

He said it is under the current government when the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2018 placed the Philippines as the most gender equal nation in Asia and ranked it as the 8th in the list of best countries in the world to be a woman.

Panelo also noted that just recently, the President signed a law that increases the maternity leave period for all female workers to 105 days.

He said the President also signed the Telecommuting Law, which creates an alternative work arrangement that most Filipino women may take advantage of.

There is also the “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act,” which ensures the health and safety of both mother and child in the early stages after childbirth, he said.