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Published by Monica Kempski

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Published by: Monica Kempski on Sep 29, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The challenge for Filipino women is to enter the rarified environment of politics or toremain forever on the sidelines of policymaking and implementation (Burn 231). As justified inthis quote by a woman Filipino politician, it is against the odds for a woman in the Philippines tobe successful in politics. This is mainly due to the Filipino structure of patriarchy and oligarchy,and inferior value of women. In fact, the devaluation of women is so immense in the Philippinesthat a vast amount of people believed that a woman was not competent to run the country in a1991 national survey (Silvestre 171). Apparently, this ideal does not encourage women to enterpolitics. Only twenty-one percent of elected government officials are women in the Philippines.Women also only make up twenty-five percent of ministerial positions. On a lower level,women make up eight percent of mayors (Seager). Only two women have managed to becomepresident of the Philippines. First, Corazon Aquino defeated all of the odds against her andbecame president; then, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the fourteenth and current president of thePhilippines. She was born on April 5
, 1947. She lived in Pampanga, a northern island of thePhilippines until her father, Diosdado Macapagal was elected president in 1961. Then, she livedin the Malacanang Palace in Manila, which is where the president is housed. After shegraduated high school, she attended Georgetown University. Then, after college graduation,she returned to her country. Here, she extended her education to get a masters in commerceand then in economics. With these degrees, she became a professor in the Philippines. In 1968,she married Jose Miguel Tuason Arroyo, with whom she had three children. After thesechildren were grown, she ran a spot in the Philippine Senate. She won, which was an amazing
achievement for womens political status in her country. But she did not stop here. In 1998, sheran for vice president and won. She won with largest mandate in the history of presidential orvice presidential elections, which were thirteen million votes (Mangahas 1998).Finally, in 2001 she won the presidency (International Yearbook). She has remained presidentto this day, but in November 2009, she stated that she prefers to step down and run for Senateagain (Inquirer Politics). Sadly, her father, the former president, did not get to see his daughterachieve her unbelievable political power due to his death in 1997.Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had a greater chance of succeeding in political powercompared to other women of the Philippines. As noted before, her father was president. Thus,she can be identified as a political surrogate. During his presidency, his father was a credibleand favorite president among the Filipinos. With her father in office, she achieved a politicalpedigree which gave her early experience and exposure to politics. Thus, she had credit to hername as well as a sense of security among the many people of her nation which swayedcountless election votes in her favor (Burn 232).In addition to her political surrogacy, it is believed that she excelled in thepolitical world due to the Catholic Church. Being a Catholic like many Filipinos, the churchsupported her during her election. The church was also known to support women because theCatholic Church promotes the idea that women are morally superior to a man. Women havebeen taught to conform to the behaviors of their ideal mother, the Virgin Mary, upon whom isbuilt a cult of feminine spiritual superiority, which teaches that women are semi-divine,

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