PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday said his government had created an environment where women’s rights are respected.
The tough-talking leader, who once said the presidency was not a job for a woman, added that the government has recognized women’s contributions to society.
Governments, international organizations and women’s movements have “worked together and made significant strides in addressing gender inequality by dealing with its cultural, institutional and historical roots,” Mr. Duterte said in a statement on International Women’s Day.
His government had asked the Commission on Elections to cancel the registration in the party-list system of Gabriela Women’s Party, the sole women’s sectoral representation in Philippine Congress.
In 2019, the President signed a measure expanding maternity leave for women. Gabriela initiated the bill.
Mr. Duterte has drawn flak for comments viewed as derogatory to women, but his allies have said his remarks were harmless.
The President said “there is still much to be done” to address gender disparity.
Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo urged women to answer the calls to leadership and unite with allies to combat gender inequality.
“We need to band together to continue the work,” she said in a statement. “We need as many women and allies as possible banging against the glass ceiling and creating spaces where all genders can flourish and contribute to society.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza