Basulta election bets sign covenant for gender equality

Roel Pareño - Philstar.com

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Candidates from the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (Basulta) converged here and signed a covenant Saturday to ensure gender equality and protection to women during the May 9 elections.

The covenant signing came following the forum conducted by Commissioner Rowena Amelia Guanzon of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on gender and development (GAD) and election-related violence where some of the victims are women.

Among those who forged their commitment for the protection of women and persons with disability were governors, vice governors, mayors and councilors from the three island provinces, previously known as election hotspots.

Elections Commissioner Luie Tito Guia said they want to focus more on advocacy in anticipation of the possible violence.

He added that there is still a disparity between men and women, citing only 20 percent of the candidates are women running for office this coming elections.

“The covenant will highlight the commitment of the candidates and hopefully it will have impact on the voters,” Guia said.

Regional Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) led the signing of covenant on the same forum conducted last week by the Comelec in Cotabato City.

Guia said the signing of covenant on gender equality awareness or right to participation by women, as well as the issue of election-related violence, are nationwide issues.

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