More than 1,000 women marched in Manila on Tuesday to tell President Rodrigo Duterte they have had enough of what they termed his repeated misogynistic words and deeds. The columns of protesters, carrying umbrellas against steady rain and some wearing the colours of the Philippine flag, chanted “Duterte is afraid of women” as they wound through city streets.
During two years in office, Duterte has repeatedly and unapologetically joked about rape, defended womanising and ordered soldiers to shoot women rebels in the …. Last week he sparked outrage after coaxing a married Filipina into kissing him on the lips onstage during an appearance in Seoul, which he defended by saying “We enjoyed it”. “We are saying we have had enough,” activist Jean Enriquez told AFP as she marched.
“All the acts of the Duterte administration and he himself contributed to us, the women, coming out.” Enriquez is part of a collective of women who launched last month a #Metoo-style social media campaign that takes aim at Duterte’s attitude towards women.
Their #BabaeAko (I am a woman) hashtag caught on quickly in the social media-obsessed nation, and the thousands of posts since were the catalyst for Tuesday’s independence day rally. Organisers and an AFP journalist estimated that about 1,500 people, including men, took part in the march. A former mayor who cultivates a man-of-the-people image, the 73-year-old Duterte has regularly fought with women in powerful posts who dared to oppose him. (AFP)