Village polls still a man’s world, gender rights advocate says
DAVAO CITY — Men continue to dominate races in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, prompting advocates of gender equality to call for a vigorous campaign to entice more women to join community politics.
“It has not happened yet—men and women becoming equals,” said Dr. Jean Lindo, chair of Gabriela in Southern Mindanao, as the disparity between men and women seeking electoral posts continued to show in the number of aspirants who filed certificates of candidacy (COC) for the May 14 elections.
Of those who filed their COCs for barangay chair nationwide, 69,163 were men and only 17,964 were women, Comelec records showed.
In Digos City, men made up the most of the 954 candidates seeking village and SK posts, said lawyer Aimee Ferolino-Ampoloquio, city Comelec director.
According to Ampoloquio, only 113 of 505 candidates seeking village council seats were women. Of the 73 running for SK chair, only 26, or a third, were women, she added.
In Pangasinan province, men also dominate the 44,346 candidates running for barangay chair and kagawad (councilors) and SK chair in 1,346 villages.
Comelec records show that 2,765 men (86 percent) are gunning for barangay chairmanship. The 467 women running for the same position represent only 14 percent.
In the SK races, 1,978 or 62 percent of the 3,201 candidates for chair are men.
Marino Salas, Pangasinan election officer, said the number of women candidates fell below Comelec’s expectations, after the agency encouraged women to seek elective posts. —REPORTS FROM ALLAN NAWAL, ELDIE AGUIRRE, YOLANDA SOTELO AND GABRIEL CARDINOZA
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