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NR # 3040B
Palace’s giving women key positions in gov’t draws mixed reactions from lawmakers
Lawmakers today expressed varied views over the recent announcement of Malacañang that the President is committed to giving women equal opportunities in government and expects their appointment in key positions would empower them and make them better role models. Rep. Ma. Carmen Zamora (1st District, Compostela Valley) believes that equal opportunities for women in government is not a novelty nor is it something overdue. Zamora said women occupy 46% of third level government posts and President Benigno S. Aquino III has already appointed women to strategic and critical posts traditionally held by men. “Women in key government positions are exemplified by the likes of the Secretary of Justice, the Chief Justice, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and even the Ombudsman,” Zamora said. Zamora said the country has the least gender gap among business owners in the global arena at a 55:45 male to female ratio. “We believe in a system that gives incentives and grants the privilege of position in government on the basis of merit, and that policy is now finding and reaping the fruits with the high level of participation of women in governance, service and leadership,” Zamora underscored. Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan (Party-list, Gabriela), however, criticized such pronouncement and said appointing women to key government posts has been long overdue. “But the choice or appointment of a woman in government does not automatically mean a pro woman stance,” Ilagan stressed. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte made the announcement yesterday, as the country observes International Women’s Month. In an interview over radio station DZRB, she said that the government through various social services is addressing the general welfare of Filipino women. Valte also cited several studies that found Filipino women are now holding more positions of responsibility and authority in society. (30) lvc