Comelec: ‘Not enough’ women running in 2019 elections

COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Wednesday, October 17, said there are not enough women running for national and local positions in the 2019 polls. This is after the final records showed that barely one-fifth of 25,000 certificates of candidacies were filed by women.

Comelec data showed that only 5,465 women are running in the 2019 polls.

Official records said this is 21.12 percent of the 25,872 total candidates who submitted election documents to the poll body between the October 11 to 17 filing period.

Thirteen out of the 104 senatorial aspirants are women. Out of the 313 candidates for House membership, 77 women led their certificates of candidacy, while nine women are vying for a gubernatorial position.

According to Guanzon, the turnout of female candidates “is very low” because the country is “still a patriarchal society where men control the economy of the family and remain as the gatekeepers of political parties.”

A proposal requiring a “women’s quota” for political parties is currently being studied by the Comelec’s law department in order to encourage more groups to be more “gender responsive.”

“Personally, I am asking the political parties to have a women’s quota, field more women candidates,” Guanzon said.

She also said that candidates were asked to sign pledges that guarantee that they will not allow their supporters to “harass female politicians, especially on social media” to encourage more women to join politics.

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