Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says presidency is 'not for women'

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says presidency is ‘not for women’

Rodrigo Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said that women are not fit for the role of president because of their emotional differences to men, despite the fact that two of his predecessors have been women.

The latest disparaging remark about women from Duterte came as he dismissed speculation that his 42-year-old daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, the mayor of Davao City, would run for president in the 2022 election.

“My daughter is not running. I have told Inday not to run because I pity (her) knowing she will have to go through what I am going through,” Duterte said last week, referring to his daughter Sara by her nickname.

“This is not for women. You know, the emotional setup of a woman and a man is totally different. You will become a fool here. So… that is the sad story.”

As the incumbent mayor of Davao City, Sara Duterte-Carpio recently led an opinion poll that asked voters to choose their preferred candidate for the 2022 elections. A widely popular leader, she previously succeeded her father in the role of mayor of Davao City, and has served as a ‘first lady’ figure during her father’s presidency, due to his annulled marriage.

The Philippines have had two women serve as president before; Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, from 2001 until 2010, and Corazon Aquino, the first woman to hold the office, between 1986 and 1992.

Duterte is no stranger to misogynistic remarks and has a long history of using offensive language when talking about women. He has referred to women as “bitches” and has publicly made jokes about rape.

Etta Rosales, the chair of Akbayan Partylist, a democratic left party in the Philippines, responded to Duterte’s comments saying by the presidency is “not a man’s job, but a job”, and that accountability was sorely needed.

“The presidency is not a ‘man’s job.’ It is a job. It is a job for all those willing to be held to the highest standards of governance regardless of one’s gender, sexual orientation, identity and expression,” she said in a statement.

“The presidency is a job for those who can effectively lead with respect for human rights, justice and democracy. It is not a job for mass-murdering tyrants, misogynists, sycophants, and incorrigible, lazy, and incompetent leaders.

“Neither is it a job for Mr. Duterte’s continuity candidate, family member or otherwise, in a desperate bid to evade accountability and cling to power.

“Sara Duterte should not run for president. But it’s not because she is a woman; it is for the simple and obvious reason that Sara as president will not exact accountability from her father over his high crimes against the people and is an appalling continuation of the incompetent, corrupt and murderous malgovernance that we are suffering from right now.”

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