Comelec wants more women to run in 2016 polls
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday pushed for a “gender quota” in Congress to ensure the increased participation of women in the 2016 polls.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said that based on the agency’s records, fewer women participate in elections although they are more winnable.

“Since men are gatekeepers, we know that the problem is fewer women get inside the gate. (But) the Comelec is for gender equality, the commissioners are committed to gender equality,” Guanzon said during a roundtable discussion.

She said the Comelec wants to see more names of women on the ballots and “the first step to get there is to convince our political parties to get more women as candidates.”

“If not 50-50, at least 30 percent,” said Guanzon, the poll body’s commissioner for its gender and development committee.

Comelec records showed that in the 2010 polls, 41,741 or 83 percent of 50,268 candidates were males. Only 8,340 or 16.6 percent were females.

Of these bets, 14,498 (81 percent) males and 3,305 (18.5 percent) females won.

In the 2013 elections, a total of 36,401 (81.9 percent) male candidates and 7,925 (17.9 percent) female bets were recorded. Elected to public office were 14,331 (79.8 percent) males and 3,580 (19.9 percent) females, respectively.

The obstacles that hinder women from pursuing political careers were found to be domestic responsibilities, the prevailing cultural attitude regarding the roles of women and lack of support from family and political parties and lack of confidence and finances.

Bukidnon first district Rep. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba agreed that women representation must be increased among all political parties and in different elective positions.

Alba said there are pending proposals in Congress for a gender quota in politics and governance but these have not been prioritized.

“The issue of gender quota is not really a priority. It seems our Congress is not ready to debate on this kind of policy. No surprise our legislators do not appreciate the need for Reproductive Health bill. The debate in the House is still dominated by patriarchal concerns,” she added.

ACIRC BUKIDNON COMELEC COMELEC COMMISSIONER ROWENA GUANZON GENDER GUANZON LOURDES ACOSTA-ALBA PERCENT POLITICAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH WOMEN
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