Guanzon pushes for 50% women candidates

ILOILO CITY—Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Ma. Rowena Guanzon believes that women should make up at least 50 percent of candidates seeking elective posts.

“The men are still the gatekeepers. In politics, only 10 percent of women are elected,” Guanzon pointed out during the Let Women Lead: A Forum on Women’s Political Participation and Representation at University of the Philippines (UP Visayas) in Iloilo City.

“If I am a congresswoman, I would file a bill that requires all political parties to have a minimum of 50 percent of its candidates as women,” said Guanzon at the March 8 forum coinciding with International Women’s Day.

Former Comelec commissioner Ma. Rowena Guanzon at a forum coinciding with International Women’s Day at UP Visayas in Iloilo City. (Photo courtesy of Junel Ann Divinagracia)

Guanzon wants incentives given to encourage more women to run for elective positions.

“The point is not to run for office, but to win. Give us not only the opportunity, but the rights and resources so we can lead,” Guanzon emphasized.

“We do not need your permission to lead,” Guanzon added as she criticized the leadership of men in many political parties.

She encouraged women to run as barangay (village) officials.

“Kilala ang babaye kag iya serbisyo sa komunidad (The women and their services for the community are recognized),” Guanzon added.

The forum was jointly organized by the UP SILAB Sisterhood Inc. and the UP SILAK Brotherhood in partnership with UP Visayas Gender and Development Program.