The COMELEC’s Gender and Development (GAD) Group on Policy Studies (GAD-GPS) together with civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations launched a series of public discussions on initiatives to increase women participation in Philippine elections on October 19, 2016, 10:00 am the COMELEC Session Hall, 8/F Palacio del Gobernador Building, Intramuros, Manila.
The public discussion initiative was designed to encourage political parties to have a voluntary quota on the number of women candidates and members in their respective organizations.
“Despite the Commission’s initiative in previous years, only 8, 664 female candidates or about 20% ran in 2016 elections, despite almost having the same number of male (26, 311, 706) and female (28, 052, 138) voters. Going deeper in the statistics, the same ratio (20% female and 80% male) can also be seen in the number of Philippine elected officials,”says Atty. Rona Ann Caritos, GAD Policy Studies Consultant.
COMELEC is also aiming to mobilize and create a network of election gender champions not only in the Commission but also outside of it – at the Senate, House of Congress, Executive, Political Parties, CSOs, NGOs and POs. To achieve this, the Commission hopes that political parties can have their own voluntary quota for women candidates or Congress may pass a law providing for women’s quota in all elective positions in government.