OpEd by Leni Robredo
If the Philippines wants to maintain its No. 7 spot in the world in terms of how well it empowers the Filipina professional, the next administration should be even more aggressive in letting more women sit in the Cabinet and other key positions in government, suggested Liberal Party Vice Presidential candidate, Leni Robredo.
“Napakalaking factor kasi sa pagkamit natin ng mataas na rank ay dahil sa mas marami nang kababaihan ang nakapuwesto sa mga kritikal na puwesto ng gobyerno natin,” said Robredo, who is pushing for women empowerment as one the cornerstones of her platform.
In the 2015 Gender Gap Report, the Philippines ranked 7th in the world, and earned the No. 1 spot in Asia. Under the Political Empowerment Category, it only ranked 17th, but Robredo is optimistic that these numbers can still be improved by the incoming administration.
“Sa akin lang po, may magandang epekto ang pagkakaroon ng mas maraming kababaihan sa posisyon dahil una, nagiging mas marami ang role models ng mga kabataang Pilipina natin upang magpursigi ng karera sa government service, at in a bigger picture, pinapakita natin sa buong mundo na dito sa Pilipinas, hindi isyu ang gender kung ikaw ang tamang tao para sa trabaho.” she added.
Robredo spoke of the outstanding accomplishments of women officials in the current Aquino administration that have made their mark, including former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Ombudsman Conchina Carpio-Morales, and Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes-Sereno.
She also highlighted the accomplishment of former COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza, who left the Commission after she was appointed by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services in October last year.
As part of her advocacy, Robredo is pushing for the creation of programs at the local and national level to continue the quest for economic empowerment of women, with a bigger focus on those that belong to the poorest sectors of society.
“Let us give women more seats at the table and let them be partners in shaping policies and government initiatives that can drastically improve the way our programs address their needs when it comes to creating opportunities for better educational assistance, health care, employment,” said Robredo.
Before becoming a representative of the 3rd District of Camarines Sur, Robredo chaired the Naga City Council of Women, the 1st of its kind in the country to give women a voice in governance and decision-making, and which she helped establish during the term of her late husband, Secretary Jesse Robredo, as mayor of Naga City.