Gabriela hits Duterte over ‘sexist’ remarks

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 December) — The Gabriela Southern Mindanao Region hit Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte over his “sexist and derogatory” public statements concerning women.

In a statement issued Thursday, Mary Ann Sapar, secretary general of Gabriela-Davao, reiterated the group’s stance against Duterte’s declarations that he has two wives and two girlfriends as “an affront to women.”

“We urge the Mayor to stick to meaningful and significant issues. It can be recalled that on many occasions, the Gabriela-Davao member organizations and leaders sent strong messages of concern, criticism and alternatives, and a major offshoot of which was Mayor Duterte’s positive response to the challenging and progressive provisions of Davao City Children’s Welfare Code, Women’s Development Code ad the Local Development Plan for Children, and on Reproductive Health,” Sapar said.

She said the mayor’s strong support to the women’s movement in the city doesn’t exempt him from the issue of sexism.

“We have never hesitated to criticize the Mayor in the past for his sexist campaign sorties. We remind him again and appeal to him to stop hurting women in this presidential race,” she added.

Sapar said Duterte, a presidential candidate, does not have to use women to gain popularity as he was already leading in surveys.

“He does not have to use expletives in public for his messages are clear and distinct,” she said.

She urged the mayor to maintain what he did during the “One Billion Rising Campaign” held early this year where he did not spew out expletives.

“In other countries, government officials resign over derogatory remarks against women,” she said.

Sapar said the group will continue to advocate for women’s protection and development that has already been started around the country.

“We vigilantly pursue people’s interests as well as continue to gender-police in order to defend and advance the gains that the women’s movements all over the country have achieved in terms of elimination of discrimination and violence against women,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)