DAVAO CITY – The local chapter of the women’s group, Gabriela, said it would look forward to another speech by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte that is devoid of expletives similar to what he gave during the One Billion Rising event last year.

Gabriela Southern Mindanao Chairperson Dr. Jean Lindo said she was ready to tally Duterte’s expletives during the One Billion Rising event last year. But to her surprise the mayor did not throw any expletives.

“It was a nice speech,” Lindo recalled.

“If he can do it, it’s better if he maintains it that way. I don’t know if he does it on purpose, but we will just continue to gender-police him,” she said.

Read related story: Duterte, V-men join women in ‘One Billion Rising for Justice’

She said Duterte’s speech gave recognition to women’s role in the society.

“Walay tao sa kalibutan kung wala ang babae, kung wala ang atong inahan (There will be no person living in this world, without the women, or our mothers),” he said.

The One Billion Rising is a global mass action to end violence against women. The campaign was launched in 2012.

The Gabriela condemned Duterte’s recent statements to which  he revealed that he has two wives and two girlfriends.

The group called it an “affront to women”.

“We urge the Mayor to stick to meaningful and significant issues,” said Lindo.

Lindo said even the city’s progressive provisions of the Women Development Code and the Local Development Plan for Children, and on Reproductive Health “does not make him above reproach on the issue of sexism.”

Davao City passed in 1997 the Women Development Code, which is a landmark legislation that provides a comprehensive and integrated approach to the issues, problems, needs and concerns of women.

“We have never hesitated to criticize the Mayor in the past for his sexist campaign sorties. We remind him again and appeal to him to stop hurting women in this presidential race. He does not have to resort to sexism to gain popularity in the poll for he is way ahead of the others.  He does not have to use expletives like “p___ i__. mo” in public for his messages are clear and distinct,” said Lindo.

“We will continue to gender-police in order to defend and advance the gains that the women’s movements all over the country have achieved in terms of elimination of discrimination and violence against women,” she said.

“We urge him to demonstrate holistic statesmanship during his campaign and more so if he succeeds in his presidential bid,” she said.

Lindo also said other candidates should eliminate discrimination and violence against women during campaign sorties, including the use of sexy women performers in campaign rallies.

Lindo said genuine change will not take place if sexism exist.

“Culture change is part of the social change promise by Mayor Duterte,” she said. (davaotoday.com)

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