Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima today called on women leaders to continue on resisting President Duterte’s blatant denigration and objectification of women through his misogynistic remarks and sexist jokes.
In a message at the “3rd Annual Purple Action Day 2018: #PressforProgress: Tackling issues underneath gender disparity,” De Lima commended women leaders for standing up to Duterte for his wrong doings and human rights violations.
“I am proud of the many women leaders who remain strong in voicing their opposition to the wrongdoings and human rights violations of the Duterte administration despite the risk of being attacked and cyber-bullied,” she said.
“Kayo ay natatangi at dapat ipagmalaki. Palakpakan po ninyo ang inyong mga sarili,” she added.
De Lima, who was recognized by Amnesty International as one of the notable Women Human Rights Defenders Under Threat, spoke of her own experience as the perennial object of shameful and misogynistic attacks by Duterte and his minions.
“No one is exempt from the vulnerability of being harassed as a woman–or because of one’s sexuality and gender preference–in our society now, especially under Duterte,” she said.
“In fact, misogynistic remarks and foul jokes seem to have been encouraged. If my stature has not spared me from such harassment, what more of our sisters from the vulnerable sectors of our society?,” she asked rhetorically.
With the vilification and slut-shaming that she suffered from no less than the President and his lackeys, De Lima said she learned that as long as “women will stand together for each other’s struggles,” the good can trump the evil.
According to the Senator from Bicol, other women have also become targets of gender-based violence, such as harassment, physical assault, sexual violence, and misogynistic attack, under the present Duterte regime.
“The new challenge is to stop the creeping tyranny of Duterte powered by his popularity gained through his quick-fix but impractical solutions to the ills besetting our nation. He slowly corrupted the minds of the people through fake news and reinforcement of sexist culture,” she said.
“The historic violence and oppression brought about by patriarchy, sexism and discriminatory practices that have excluded women from fully participating in the social, political and economic power structures of our nation have exponentially increased under the Duterte government and this should be addressed head on,” she added.
A known defender of women human rights, De Lima previously filed Senate Bill No. 1438 focusing on the protection of women in state custody and resolutions on the implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act and the obligation of the Philippines to protect human rights defenders from gender-based violence.