Press Release
March 8, 2010

Pia: Vote for pro-women candidates and 'women-empowered' political slates

Senator Pia S. Cayetano today urged Filipino voters to support pro-women candidates and 'women-empowered' political parties in the coming May elections to ensure that the interest and issues of women are given high priority in the next administration.

Cayetano, one of five women candidates seeking a Senate seat under the Nacionalista Party, made the call to mark March 8, International Women's Day.

"Voters should carefully study the track record of candidates, particularly their stand on women's concerns. Regardless of whether they are male or female, the candidate should have a clear platform that looks after issues affecting women, including maternal health, the declining state of public health services, feminization of labor migration, gender discrimination, poverty and trafficking."

Cayetano, principal author of the Magna Carta of Women, added that a deeper and more diverse field of male and female candidates would give voters more options and better chances of pushing for genuine reforms in 2010.

She noted that the Nacionalista Party slate boasts of a woman vice presidential candidate in Loren Legarda and five women senatorial bets, the most in any of the political parties fielding a full national slate in the coming elections: Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Gabriela Representative Liza Maza, children's rights advocate lawyer Gwen Pimentel, migrant labor rights' champion Toots Ople, and herself.

She added that the NP's standard-bearer himself, Sen. Manny Villar, has a known track record of pushing for women's rights and helping abused and distressed Filipina workers overseas.

Cayetano is also urging more women to seek elective posts from the national down to the local level.

She said women comprise only four out of 23 senators and occupy only around 25 percent of the membership of the House of Representatives. The ratio is even smaller for elected women at the local level.

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