Rabiya Mateo is Trending for Saying Women Can Lead Nations

Female leaders are like mothers.
Photo/s: Instagram/Rabiya Mateo

Reigning Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo was trending on Wednesday after saying in a YouTube interview that women could lead nations.

Mateo was asked by bloggers from pageant website Missosology to react to President Rodrigo Duterte's recent statement that women could be too emotional to be president.

The 23-year-old from Iloilo City said that while she respects the President, she "completely" disagrees with that thought. She said the Philippines has had two women presidents.

Mateo also cited New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is leading one of the world's most successful pandemic response campaigns, all while being a new mother.

"Women are as capable as men in handling a nation," Mateo said. "We live in an era in which we need to treat men and women equally. We need to give them the same opportunities."


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Mateo said being emotional was not a weakness for leaders. "I have so much heart. I have so much calling in being a leader. I can lead my country because I have the power to do so."

"We need female leaders, leaders who will put their emotions in making decisions because it's not all about experience. Sometimes, you need to put your emotion and be the mother of the land," she said.

Prefacing her remarks as a "joke," Rabiya also had this advice to voters, when asked during the interview.

"People would always say, mas mataas pa yung standard ng mag Pilipino pagdating sa Miss Universe compared sa pag-elect ng leaders ng bansa natin. That shouldn't be the case," she said.

Shifting to a serious tone, she added, "We need to have stricter qualifications before we vote for somebody. If there's gonna be one aspect of being a leader that I would like to highlight it's being honest, because all the good things will go after that," she said.

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