Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today said that certain qualities make women local chief executives easier to approach than their male counterparts and more adept at building consensus among their constituents.
“As men, we view our constituents as shareholders in the futures of our cities; they are our bosses, if you will. To you, they are your children, and what you work for is their inheritance: a town or city that they can proudly call their own, and hand down to their descendants in time,” Binay said in a speech before the National Convention of Lady Municipal Mayors of the Philippines.
Binay also said that the local strategies of women mayors are most likely to succeed because being motherly, they are able to encourage their constituents to speak up and participate.
“You can forge bonds not just between all the people you serve. You are equally capable of building bridges with the national government and the private sector in creating timely solutions to your needs,” he said.
He cited the endeavors of the women in Muslim Mindanao who teach in schools, strive to increase community hygiene and health, conduct parenting seminars and values campaigns, voter education, and promote peace and development in the region.
“All these efforts are directly related to the Millennium Development Goals that we have pledged to meet,” the Vice President said.
He then urged the women mayors to use their power in responding to the challenges of the Millennium Development Goals and to enlist the help of other women in their advocacies.
“Inspire others to consider the path of public service and create opportunities for them to pursue this profession,” he said.
“Let us show them that the Filipina has more than just access to equal opportunity. Let us show them that the strength and heart of the Filipina leader is a cornerstone of our future,” he added.
The Vice President said that in the Philippines, the power to change the world is in the hands of women as they lead the efforts to help realize the MDGs.
“The power of women in our society and culture is beyond the comprehension of others. Not only are the voices of women heard. Even the sheer silence of women can move mountains,” said Binay
“This power is a valuable force that can alter the battlefield as we exert efforts in the key result areas of the eradication of hunger and poverty, combating HIV/AIDS, providing universal education, gender equality, child health, maternal health and upholding environmental sustainability,” he added.
According to the United Nations website, there are eight Millennium Development Goals which serve as a blueprint for human development, seeking to cut global poverty incidence by half. These goals were agreed upon by the 193 member countries of the United Nations and at least 23 international organizations in the Millennium Declaration in 2000, with a target date of 2015.
The MDGs are: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.