Through the years, the number of women participating in the field of governance has increased, but for the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the growth “has been slow and the proportion of women to men is still far from equal.”
“In recent years, the trend was that women occupy only less than one-third of third-level positions in the government, less than 20 percent in local government units, and more than one-third in the judiciary,” PCW said.
Figures from the commission show an increase in the number of females who ran for the Senate in the 2007 and 2010 elections.
In 2007, only 10.8 percent or four of the 37 candidates were women while in 2013, the figure rose to 23 percent or 14 out of 61 candidates.
The latest list that Manila Bulletin Research gathered from the Commission on Elections, however, shows a decline in the number of women senatorial aspirants, with 16 percent or only eight out of 50.
The number of females who win Senate seats has also gone up. From only one lady senator or 8.3 percent elected in 2007, it rose to four or 33.3 percent in 2013.
Women’s involvement in the House of Representatives has also continued to improve in terms of numbers.
During the 14th Congress, 21.3 percent or 51 out of 240 were women while during the 16th Congress, 25.6 percent or 60 out of 234 were women.
Female members of the judiciary branch have also somewhat increased.
Of the incumbent judges in the first and second level courts, including Shari’a courts in 2007, 32 percent were women. This figure continued to go up with 33 percent in 2008 and 34 percent in 2010.
“Women are faced with numerous obstacles to partake of a bigger role in politics and decision-making,” a statement from PCW said. “The country may have had two women leaders – former Presidents Corazon C. Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who came to power through EDSA I and EDSA II People Power revolts, respectively; however, men’s domination in the political arena remains apparent.”
To address this, the commission said there is a need to implement measures on leadership and capability development programs for women, advocacy for shared responsibility in the home, and the full implementation of the temporary special measures of the Magna Carta for Women, as well as other related laws and policies.
“It is deemed that through these undertakings, parity between males and females in participation and representation shall be achieved,” it said.
News story from Manila Bulletin.