Ah Hyeong Lee, Cohort 2018

Abstract

Women have had the same right to vote as men for over one hundred years; however, most of the political sphere is still perceived as the domain of men. There has been much research looking at the correlation between numbers of female politicians and the state of women’s rights. The scholars who advocate that it is necessary to have female politicians for the development of women’s rights insist that women can advocate their rights. In this regard, the reason that women should participate in the political arena is not only because women make up half of the world’s population, but also because women in positions of power can advocate for their rights, women’s rights. However, there are those who suggest that female politicians do not always represent women’s rights. Female politicians can represent their own interests and the interests of their political party, not only women’s rights.

This thesis tries to assess the impact of female senators on women’s rights in the Philippines. This thesis analyzed the bills related to women’s issues proposed by female senators in the Philippines, from the 13th Congress to the 17th Congress. Based on this analysis, the extent of the influence which female senators had in improving women’s rights was discussed. Additionally, this thesis also analyzes the correlation between female senators’ background related to women’s rights before entering politics, and their proposed bills relating to women’s rights.

The results show that overall female senators proposed more bills than male politicians. However, except for one congress, less than 10% of their proposed bills were related to women’s issues. In addition, there are fewer male senators who proposed bills on women’s issues than female senators. This shows that female senators are not only working for women’s rights, but they are doing so much more than male politicians. However, female senators’ background of women’s rights before entering the political arena do not affect their legislation.

Key words: female politician; Philippine politics; women’s rights; women in politics

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