Women advise the candidates of the 2016 elections: No more disappointments and deceit, Carry out the Women’s Agenda

29 February 2016

Women advise the candidates of the 2016 elections: No more disappointments and deceit, Carry out the Women’s Agenda

A candidate who carries out the women’s agenda gets the women’s vote, according to a research and training institution for women, the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR). The forecast occured during the presentation of the Women’s Agenda in the Ulat Lila forum on the 29th of February at Ikeda Hall, UP Campus in Quezon City.

The Women’s Agenda presented the demands of women for the last six years, which reportedly remain unfulfilled. “Women could no longer allow another six years of distress, disappointments, deceit, and disasters. The empty promises need to stop and genuine change must be upheld,” said UP Professor Marion Tan, CWR’s chairperson.

According to Tan, just like any traditional politician, President Aquino's promises turned out to be a mere sugarcoated popcorn. One by one, his "daang matuwid" directed the people to a nearly ₱1 trillion pork barrel fund, the record-breaking income gap among the rich and poor, hundreds of thousands of human rights violations, a sell-out of the country to foreign corporations and military powers. “Thus, after almost six years, the cry of the people, particularly of women, for jobs and justice, food and freedom persist,” she said.

The Agenda included regular and respectable jobs with decent living wages, genuine distribution of land to peasant families, accessibility of quality social services, protection from abusers and eradication of the culture of impunity, and ensuring sovereignty for women’s security, among others.

“The Aquino administration should refrain from glorifying the country’s growing economy and branding it as inclusive growth for the people. Only 50 families practically own 25.7% or a quarter of the country's wealth. Poverty incidence among women remains high at 25.6%, despite the implementation of 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), the government’s conditional cash transfer scheme,” Tan explained.

One of the candidates who was present in the Forum, Representative Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela Women’s Partylist (GWP), assured that her party’s platform reflects the women’s agenda. “GWP always takes its cue from women. In GWP, we believe that legislation could only have an impact if backed up by a strong collective voice of the people,” she said.

The women’s vote was significant in the 2013 elections. The women voter turnout was 77.9 percent compared to 77 percent of their male counterpart. “As formidable voters, women could turn the tide to their advantage. They should present the women’s agenda and challenge the candidates to carry it out. Historically, women have proven that through their collective action, meaningful changes can happen. After all, women hold up half the sky,” said Tan. ###