MANILA -- (UPDATED) A member of a social media movement advocating women's rights is encouraging Filipinas to speak out amid anti-women pronouncements of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Nathalie Africa Verceles, director of the University of the Philippines' (UP) Women and Gender Studies, said Sunday that the regularity Duterte's anti-women statements is already alarming.
"Hindi na isolated. Medyo nakakabahala na 'yung regularity ng mga pronouncements ng Presidente na laban sa kababaihan," Verceles, a member of the #BabaeAko movement, told DZMM Teleradyo.
(The regularity of Duterte's anti-women pronoucements are alarming. They are no longer isolated statements.)
Women's rights groups earlier blasted the President for saying that he prefers a “non-woman” as his next pick for a crucial government position.
The President has already defended himself, saying he still trusts the capabilities and competence of women, but that there are certain tasks that are not suitable for them.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque had also said Duterte’s statement was just “a mere play of words.”
"Pangulo natin 'yan. Pinakamataas na opisyal ng bayan... Kung naririnig natin ang mga ganyang pahayag mula sa pinakamataas na lider ng bansa, ano na lang ang ipinapakita niyan sa mga kababayan natin?" Verceles explained.
(That's the President, the highest leader in the country. What is trying to show to us Filipinos?)
"Ang laki ng repercussions niyan, 'di lang in terms of employment, kundi sa pagkakakilala sa kakayanan ng kababaihan. Nalilimitahan ang opportunities [for women]," she added.
(This has big repercussions, not just in employment, but also in recognizing the capabilities of women. These statements limit opportunities for women.)
Meanwhile, Verceles is urging women to speak out on social media using the hashtag #BabaeAko to correct the perceptions that may arise from the pronouncement of the country's top leader.
"Kailangan magsalita. Kasi kailangan i-korek [si Duterte]," she stressed. (We need to speak out and correct Duterte.)