MANILA - A women's rights advocate on Friday urged elected female leaders to speak up against "misogynist" remarks of President Rodrigo Duterte on the commemoration of the International Women’s Day.
"Kung tahimik ka, ibig sabihin, sumasang-ayon ka," Rina Jimenez-David told "Bandila sa DZMM."
(Staying silent means you are complicit in the wrongdoing.)
As more women are taking key leadership positions in the male-dominated politics, Jimenez-David noted that only a few dared to criticize the President.
"Pasulong na sana ang estado ng kababaihan, ngayon mukhang paatras ng paatras," she said.
(The women's movement seems regressing instead of progressing.)
In her opinion piece in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jimenez-David said that few women who stood up against Duterte faced serious consequences.
She cited detained Sen. Leila de Lima, ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes-Sereno, and journalist Maria Ressa.
Jimenez-David also called on Filipinas to call out Duterte for his words against women.
"Dapat huwag nating tanggapin. Dapat tayo ay magsalita," she said.
(We shouldn't take the abuse. We should speak up.)
The President, in a statement Friday, urged institutions to work on addressing women's needs, recognize their contributions to society and support their empowerment.
Duterte said the observance of the International Women's Day “reminds us all to pave the way for an enabling environment for women to be empowered and to make sure that the Magna Carta for Women is properly implemented at all levels of government.”
The Philippines ranked 8th in the 2018 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap report and was the only Asian country in the top 10.
The President recently signed a law that increases the maternity leave period for all female workers to 105 days.