Concerned citizens and women leaders from Manila, have signed a petition urging the Miss Universe Organisation to withdraw from holding the coronation night of the international pageant in Philippines.
The letter which is there on Facebook is a protest against President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent actions including the comments on women by the other elected officials.
According to Rappler, amongst the fifty signatories in the expanding list, there are Sylvia Claudio a Rappler columnist and professor, Loida Nicolas Lewis a civic leader and a business woman, and Vicky Garchitorena the former president of Ayala Foundation.
The letter is a summary of objectionable and controversial comments in recent months from the President as well as the government officials which have been on news.
The letter on Facebook reads, “This reason is the objectionable, scandalous, and demeaning sexist attitude demonstrated by the newly elected leaders of our country, by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, and his cohorts towards womankind. Filipino society has always granted a great amount of freedom and respect to women, but at the same time the gains of womankind in the Philippines have been hard won. True gender equality in terms not only of the law but how laws are applied, and in terms of the attitudes of men towards women, still has a long way to go,”
It then goes to the part which talks about atrocities and derogatory expressions which women are facing, by saying, “In recent months, chauvinism, brutal shaming, rape jokes and a sweeping disregard for women as persons deserving not merely of a token, but true, respect has been exhibited by the President of the Philippines with his salacious and sexist comments and treatment of female reporters and opposition figures, which has carried over to his allies in the Philippine Congress.”
The letter even points out to show how the continuation of the plan to hold the beauty pageant would seem like excusing this sort of behaviour and would rather be a “reward” for the ones responsible.
President Duterte has faced a lot of criticism in the past before gaining the nation’s most important and highest post. He had been previously criticised for his atrocious remark on the Australian missionary who was raped and then murdered, for a “kissing spree” during the campaigns and also for whistling at a female reporter.