Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos shared her insights on women’s role in politics at the COMELEC Women’s Summit 2017, an event by the Commission’s Gender and Development Focal-Point System (GAD-FPS) held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) yesterday, March 30.
The summit was a two-day seminar forum on gender equality in political participation, elections and government to an audience of women officials from national to local level.
A COMELEC survey revealed most people still believe that women are not fit for politics and are meant for domestic affairs.
Governor Marcos disagreed, saying “women can do better,” describing women’s leadership as “listening, passionate, consulting, and very inclusive.”
Since the onset of her first term in 2010, she has continuously promoted women empowerment, even reconstituting the Local Council for Women (LCW) and launching the Lacasa Loan capital assistance program to empower women in socio-political endeavors, as well as in the field of business and entrepreneurship, respectively; over 600 women entrepreneurs have already availed of the Loan.
Women’s community involvement has also been strengthened through the annual “Kinni-kinni” Parade (“swaying hips”) of Ilocos Norte and ‘Buntis Congress’ every March in celebration of National Women’s Month.
Governor Marcos also established the Pink Hotlines, handling calls on violence against women and children in coordination with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Gender and Development (GAD) Office, and Women’s Desk Office. Moreover, the offices regularly conduct seminars on teenage pregnancy, sexual harassment, rape, and other GAD issues among barangay communities.
“Tayo lang ang may tiyaga, may unawa, at pakikisuyo para sa araw-araw na pangangalaga. Women’s compassion and unique tenderness makes politics, at least for women, an entirely different game,” she said.
Eighty years ago, in April 1937, Filipinas were accorded the right to vote and to run for public office. However, even with two female former presidents, the latter is little-practiced in the Philippines.- (Ma. Christian A. Ramos, PGIN-CMO)