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Women Leaders Speak Up to Duterte’s Latest Sexist Remark

Veteran journalist Karen Davila and Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros had these to say about women in leadership.

On Thursday, January 14, President Rodrigo Duterte made another pronouncement that made netizens quite angry. During his speech at the formal opening of the Skyway Stage 3 project, Duterte said that he discouraged his daughter ‘Inday’ Sara Duterte-Carpio from running for president in the 2022 national elections because he doesn’t want her to experience what he experienced during his term.

“My daughter, inuudyok man nila. Sabi ko, ‘My daughter is not running.’ I have told Inday not to run kasi naaawa ako sa dadaanan niya na dinaanan ko. Hindi ito pambabae,” Duterte explained.

The commander-in-chief added that he’s saying this because the ’emotional setup’ of men and women are different, and that “magiging **** ka dito” if you become president. (Read: Timeline: What Prompted Duterte’s Threat to Stop Facebook PH?)

In a statement to the media, Sara confirmed that she visited her father on January 8 to tell him that she does not intend to run for President. “He replied, ‘Very good.’ He also said he did not want me to run, but nothing about gender was discussed,” the Davao City mayor clarified.

Karen Davila, Risa Hontiveros React

Despite Sara clarifying what the President said, many still reacted negatively towards the sexist remark. Among them are veteran journalist Karen Davila and Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros.  (Read: How Candy, Assunta, and Risa survived the hardships of motherhood)

On Twitter, Davila said, “Women make great leaders. Yes, the Presidency or any other job for that matter, can be handled by a qualified woman.” She added the hashtag ‘#EmpoweredWomen’ and tagged the United Nations entity for gender equality & women’s empowerment. (Read: These Rural Women Are Making a Difference in Their Communities)

Senator Hontiveros, on the other hand, has said that people should never underestimate women’s capabilities. “Filipino women have endured and overcome more than his presidency, and we will help take it back for a more worthy administration,” the senator tweeted.

Both tweets by Davila and Hontiveros have been retweeted by thousands who share the same sentiments. (Read: Meet Three Men Who Made Bold Moves to End Violence Against Women)

This isn’t the first time that President Duterte made sexist remarks. It can be recalled that during a briefing post-Typhoon Ulysses back in November, he said that having too much women ages you.

“Classmate ko ito sa law school. Brod ko pa, pero naubos ang panahon niya sa ano, tumanda na. Nakakatanda talaga iyan. Sobra babae, nakakatanda iyan,” Duterte said. This earned flak from netizens and women’s groups like Gabriela Women’s Party.

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