By Azer Parrocha
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File photo)
MANILA – The Philippines can “do more” to advance gender equality and women empowerment, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Tuesday.
In his International Women’s Day message, Duterte said he is proud of the Philippines’ distinction as a “shining beacon” of gender equality and women empowerment in the world.
“Be it in politics, business, academe and local communities, most especially in our homes, women have occupied and continue to occupy positions of power and influence in our society. This emphasizes, not only our values as a people, but also the importance we put on women as vital partners in nation-building,” he said.
He, however, said the quest to addressing the distinct and intersectional needs of women and girls is not yet over.
“While a growing consciousness on equality is already an impressive feat and women are breaking the glass ceiling, I believe that we can do more,” he added.
He said with access to education, information and innovation, more women will have the chance to meaningfully participate in many aspects of human development and change the mindsets that continue to put women and other gender expressions at a disadvantage.
“Let us all come together in building a country where no one is left behind and everyone has the capacity to succeed,” he said.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar greeted women around the world a happy International’s Women’s Day and International Women’s month.
“Kinikilala po natin ang napakahalagang papel ng ating mga kababaihan hindi lamang sa ating mga tahanan kundi pati na rin ang kanilang kontribusyon sa ating lipunan (We recognize the very important role of our women not only in our homes but also their contribution to our society),” he said.
Andanar, meanwhile, spelled out Duterte’s pro-women policies such as the signing of Executive Order No. 12 which seeks to attain and sustain “zero unmet need for modern family planning” through the strict implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act.
He said Duterte also signed into law important measures such as Republic Act 11148 or the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act and RA 11210 or the 105-day Expanded Maternity Leave Law.
On Monday, Duterte signed RA 11648 which raises the age of sexual consent from 12 to 16 years to protect minors from rape and other acts of sexual abuse. (PNA)