Robredo reminds Filipinos on ‘what's at stake’ in 2022 polls

Vice President Leni Robredo has called on Filipinos to register to vote in the May 2022 polls and to “remind one another of what is at stake” in the next elections.

She also highlighted the invaluable contributions of women in governance and the challenges they face in achieving gender equality.

Vice President Leni Robredo speaks at the #BotoNiJuana: Wo/Men/toring women webinar on June 28, 2021. (Galing Pook/Facebook)

“Use your platforms to push for policies that advance women's rights and gender equality and rally behind people who will fight for them. Organize, educate, and remind one another of what is at stake. Listen and uplift each other so that more women leaders can take on the greater task of rebuilding our nation,” she said in a speech delivered virtually for the #BotoNiJuana: Wo/Men/toring women webinar.

The online event held on Monday, June 28, was made possible because of the efforts of the Czech Embassy in Manila, Spark Philippines, and Galing Pook.

Robredo said that women leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic “teach us that there is a more humane and more effective way to show our strength as leaders.”

“Being a strong leader means nurturing and empowering others to become the best version of themselves. It means channeling strength without blaster in a manner that is firm, yet dignified, compassionate and empathetic, and thrives quietly yet decisively amidst adversity,” she added.

The vice president admitted that there are still a lot of challenges facing women’s rights and gender equality even as women leaders like New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen proved that they have the compassion, collective leadership, and resilience “in helping the whole of humanity emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

READ: Women leaders get things done during a crisis — Robredo

“All these women prove that no gender has a monopoly on service and leadership,” Robredo said, citing that being a leader “is hard.”

She pointed out that many equate strong leadership with “brashness and aggression, with the loud domineering style of leadership.”

However, what this kind of leadership achieves is disempowering and frightening people “into silence” as it “relies on brute force and macho displays.”

Robredo said Filipinos don’t have to look too far to see the contributions of women in society.

During the height of the pandemic last year, “Filipinas are also paving for new paths in business, in retail, and in the healthcare industry, taking the initiative despite adversity to extend their reach to help those who needed the most.”

Even the Office of the Vice President (OVP) has been “fortunate” to work with Filipinas “who rose to the occasion and pitch in to help us do more and reach more in our COVID-19 response operations.

And while many question women and their capacities to lead and think of them as unfit for the position, the vice president said that “we persist because we know what we must do to go where we are needed and find spaces where our skills and knowledge can have the most impact.”

However, the lady official stressed that women “must respond” to the call.

READ: VP Leni to women: Answer the calls to leadership

“Remember women are made for times like these. We are meant to survive even during the most difficult times. We understand how it is to endure; and even in enduring, to give more of ourselves for the sake of others and to step in a plate in a time of crisis,” she added.

The “task” is to create more spaces where women will be heard, respected, and valued in their homes, workplaces, and the communities they belong to, Robredo said.