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Women, democracy and our bodies by Rina Jimenez-David | Philippine Daily Inquirer

Sisters—perennials, millennials, or mere buds—are invited to take part in tomorrow’s observance of International Women’s Day.
In particular, there will be a forum on “Women and Democracy” to be held at the Little Theater, Miriam College on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

A special guest at the forum is Vice President Leni Robredo, and she will be joined by Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Sen. Leila de Lima, the last perhaps digitally. The renowned and much-missed duo Inang Laya will lend their artistry to the event. A “public conversation” with all the women present and guests will then follow.

Why should Filipino women be talking of democracy? Well, now more than ever! There is no better time, no more urgent a topic than the threats to democracy presented in these days of EJKs, “tokhang” and creeping authoritarianism, as exemplified by the arrest and detention of De Lima.  If, with the exception of a few hardy champions, our legislators and officials choose to hide behind political expediency and cowardly accommodation, then Filipino women will have to take up the slack. After all, we have long been on the frontline of the battle to establish and then restore democracy on our shores, and I believe we will not shirk our duty and our mission this time around.

Celebrate International Women’s Day, tomorrow at Miriam College, and for the rest of Women’s Month in the streets, in our classrooms, in our homes. The fight continues and grows more urgent with each passing day.

Another “arena” in our battle for our rights and autonomy as women hews closer to home, in our own bodies, in fact, in each woman’s uterus, vagina, and, most important, mind and will.

Women’s groups, reproductive health advocates and even government bodies like the Department of Health and the Population Commission, have issued an urgent message directed at the Supreme Court to lift, as soon as possible, a temporary restraining order blocking the full implementation of the Reproductive Health Law.
Acting on the petition of RH opponents, the Supreme Court in 2015 issued an order preventing the DOH from distributing contraceptive implants, on grounds that these might cause abortions (a fear that has been scientifically disproved).

At the same time, the tribunal also ordered the Food and Drug Administration to go through the entire cycle of certification for ALL family planning devices and supplies, including those that have long been in use but whose licenses will soon expire.

If the TRO lasts much longer, Filipino women will soon lose all access to most forms of contraception. What this means is that our access to life-saving forms of contraception will be curtailed. Already, we are seeing an uptick not just in the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, but also in maternal and infant deaths.

This is why the PopCom considers the situation created by the TRO on contraceptives as a looming “public health emergency.” This is because, unless conditions change drastically, the PopCom estimates that the number of mothers dying during childbirth “may also rise by an additional 1,000 deaths a year during the next six years.”

Some people, especially the self-righteous and narrow-minded, may not consider an additional 1,000 mothers dying every year a public health crisis. (Perhaps they’re the same folks who can accept with equanimity over 7,000 EJKs in less than a year?) But I certainly do!

In addition, the PopCom sees the total Philippine population rising to more than 113 million by 2022, from its current total of 104 million. The explosion in the number of new births can be traced in part to the lack of access of women—especially younger women—to contraception. Not only would mistimed pregnancy take a toll on the health of younger (and older) mothers, it would also have adverse effects on the health and chances of survival of newborns and of their surviving siblings as well.
The PopCom in a press release says the lifting of the TRO would be a “gift of health” to Filipino women. It would also be an acknowledgment of the inherent right of women (and men) to reproductive health and to choose the life they want for themselves.


SOURCE: Philippine Daily Inquirer > http://opinion.inquirer.net/102234/women-democracy-bodies#ixzz4abJQoj6O 

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Miriam College’s Women and Gender Institute to launch docu, publication on Women, Peace, and Security | Press Release

Miriam College - Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) and the Women’s Peace collective (WPC), formerly known as the Women’s Peace Table (WPT), will be launching several publications on October 21, 2016, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Discovery Suites, Columbus, 42nd Floor, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Pasig City

These publications  are the Gender, Peace, and Security Infopack, The Peace Journey: Stories of Women from the Women’s Peace Collective (WPC), Women, Peace and Security: Increasing Participation of Women in Conflict Areas in Mindanao: End of Project Report, and the Baseline Research on the Issues and Status of Women in Mindanao. Additionally, a short video documentary presentation will be shown. 

The Women’s Peace Collective (WPC) is a network of women’s organizations, professionals, community leaders, and individual peace advocates working towards peace and justice. The organization recently finished a project supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) entitled, “Women, Peace and Security: Increasing Participation of Women in Conflict Areas in Mindanao”. Through this project, WPC was able to build a national constituency for peace among women and different strategic groups (such as business, media, youth, religious, legislature, and the academe) in support of the Bangsamoro Peace agreement; develop the capacity of women peace negotiators, peace builders and peace advocates to ensure a gender responsive Bangsamoro Basic Law; and localize the implementation of the Philippine Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security (NAP-WPS) in USAID’s six selected conflict-affected areas in Mindanao namely, North Cotabato, Basilan, South Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, and Zamboanga. 

For more information, please contact Ms. Jing Dacayo or Ms. Mel Reyes at telephone numbers 435-9229 and 5805400 ext. 3590, or email us at and .

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Islamic worldview by Amina Rasul | Business World

Around the world, both in Muslim and non-Muslim communities, Muslim women’s rights have been the subject of a great deal of debate. While many feminists have criticized sharia (Islamic law) as restrictive for women, many have also defended Islam as the sponsor of women’s rights.

My parents brought us up believing in personal liberties and equality. After all, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) married his employer, Khadija, who became one of his trusted advisers. My sisters and I therefore grew up believing we could attain whatever future we wanted for ourselves. There was no special treatment for sons -- only for achievers. Women have been elected as heads of state in Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Maldives, and Azerbaijan long before the United States has.

The wave of democratization that swept the Islamic world after the Arab Spring has been blocked. After encouraging images of young women standing shoulder to shoulder with young men in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, bravely facing a dictatorial government, we now see the evolving portrait of a government more oppressive towards women and minorities. Some young women died fighting for their freedom in Libya and in Syria. Today, we have the picture of an un-Islamic ISIS, claiming to be THE champion of Islam, evoking horror with their beheading of prisoners and abuse of their own women.

More rigid interpretations of Islamic jurisprudence -- not too friendly to women -- have gained the upper hand in the newly democratized states. Thus, Muslim women leaders must engage the state and the religious leaders to define a more just, legal framework for both women and men.

This past week, we have been fortunate to have an internationally renowned Muslim jurist in our midst. Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, Founder of Karamah, an organization of Muslim women lawyers for human rights, and professor emerita at the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, has spoken at forums in Mindanao and Metro Manila on the state of women’s rights and the Islamic worldview. Thanks to the US Embassy for acceding to my request to bring Dr. al-Hibri to our shores as a Visiting American Scholar.

The first Muslim woman law professor in the United States, she has written extensively on women’s issues, democracy, and human rights from an Islamic perspective. Her essays have appeared in a variety of publications, including the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, the Harvard International Review, and Fordham International Law Journal.

In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed her to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom for a two-year term. Most recently, she had delivered the Ramadan Lecture before the King of Morocco, the first Muslim woman scholar so invited.

I would describe Azizah al-Hibri as a modern day jihadist, one who has embarked on a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline to reform society. This is the greater jihad. Western media has hijacked the term jihad to mean armed warfare. Armed struggle, in defense of faith and community, is the lesser jihad.

Dr. al-Hibri blames patriarchal thinking and Muslim women’s lack of education for the oppressive interpretation of Islam on women’s rights. While Islam sought to liberate women, patriarchal thinking has brought about the inequalities faced by women in society, not by faith. Culture must be separated from faith as Islamic law is interpreted.

During her lectures at Miriam College last Wednesday and at the University of the Philippines College of Law on Thursday (co-organized by the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy), she emphasized that many verses in the Qur’an have been interpreted by men to favor men. In marriage for instance, men are taught that they are superior to women and thus must be followed by women. However, the Qur’an does not say that men are “superior” to women. Rather, it says that men are “caretakers” of women who are in need of assistance.

Dr. al-Hibri also spoke about minority rights and Islam, citing what she terms as “one of the most visionary documents in the history of Islamic praxis” -- the Madinah Charter. Executed by the Prophet Muhammad on the one hand, and the various Muslim and Jewish tribes on the other, the charter defined the relationship between faith and freedom, which shed further light on the verse in the Qur’an that states: “There shall be no compulsion in religion.” (2:256)

The Charter is the first written constitution, intended to establish a plural society, giving equal rights to every citizen including participation in governance. Further, the Charter introduced a form of government that adhered to the shura system (parliamentary system) where citizens can give opinions, even if these contradict the ruler’s opinions. These are the foundations for a democratic society. It is therefore strange that the practice of Islam in most Islamic countries today has enshrined authoritarian rule.

She also explains that the Qur’an repeatedly states that the core of Islam is Justice, saying that the notion of Justice is explained throughout the Qur’an to be a restorative one based on compassion and forgiveness, not a distributive one whose only goal is to punish.

The Madinah Charter devised a special legal structure to protect the religious liberty of the diverse religious tribes and to promote peace in the community. According to Dr. al-Hibri, the Prophet devised a “federalist” model, for Muslim and Jewish citizens alike, preserving and protecting each group’s own identity, customs, and internal relations. “All members of the “federation” were then joined together in common defense and peace making.”

As we in the Philippines embark on the road towards federalism, we in Muslim Mindanao should discuss the Madinah Charter and find our inspiration therein.

Change has to happen from within. If President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his federalist movement truly want positive change to happen, they cannot impose the will of the majority on Muslim Mindanao. It must come from the heart of the community. Federalists should best study the Madinah Charter and incorporate it into their discussions.

Amina Rasul is a democracy, peace and human rights advocate, president of the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy.

aminarasul@yahoo.com


SOURCE: Business World Online > www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Opinion&title=islamic-worldview&id=132182

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WAGI conducts GAD training for gov’t agencies



A training on Gender Responsive, Planning, and Budgeting (GRPB) was conducted last June 20-23, 2016 where 38 participants from various government agencies, academe, and civil society attended namely; Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Davao, Bureau of Customs, Food Terminal Inc., Gender Wave, Marikina City Government, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Office of the Solicitor General, Women and Reforms, Caraga State University, and Pangasinan State University. 
 
The training was led by Atty. Claire Luczon as the GRPB Training Team Leader, Melanie Reyes, deputy director of WAGI, and Cecilia Fantastico, gender consultant of WAGI. The training was full of lectures and workshops that helped engage the participants in understanding and accomplishing Gender and Development (GAD) Budgeting. Within the four-day training the participants was able to learn basic GAD concepts, GAD Mandates, Gender Mainstreaming, and the best practices and challenges of Gender Mainstreaming from experts. 
 
Resource persons included Atty. Claire Luczon, Cecilia Fantastico, Aurora Javate De Dios, executive director of WAGI, Atty. Leavides Domingo-Cabarrubias, International Studies Faculty of Miriam College, Assistant Commissioner Divina Alagon of the Commission on Audit (COA), Nharleen Santos of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), and Atty. Twylah Rubin of Commission on Human Rights (CHR). 
 
After the seminar, the participants stated that the training fully met and/or exceeded their expectations. They specifically appreciated the method of teaching and the workshops done by the facilitators. One commented that the training used an “effective method of teaching”. Another claimed that the workshop, “made me deepen my understanding [of GAD], and think of projects that can mainstream gender”.

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WAGI conducts seminar on migration, trafficking, refugee and asylum

The Miriam College-Women and Gender (WAGI) conducted a seminar on Migration, Trafficking, Refugee and Asylum Issues last June 13-17, 2016 for MA students from the International Studies Department and Ph.D. Family Studies Graduate Program of Miriam College, Foreign Service Institute (FSI), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and Migrants Desk Daughters of Charity. A total of 13 participants attended. 

The team of lecturers was composed of Prof. Aurora Javate De Dios, executive director of WAGI; Dr Alvin Ang, Department of Economics Ateneo de Manila University faculty; Dr. Jean Franco of the Department of Political Science, UP Diliman; Ellene Sana, executive director of the Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA); Jean Enriquez, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific (CATW-AP); Ricardo Casco, National Program coordinator, International Organization for Migration (IOM); Atty. Francis Tom Temprosa, Commission on Human Rights legal adviser and International Studies Department Miriam College faculty; Golda Myra Roma, United Nations Development Program (UNDP); and Dr. Cristina Liamzon, Ateneo School of Government Adjunct Faculty. Nikki Jurisprudencia was the overall facilitator and coordinator of the training course.
 
Representatives from Canadian Embassy, Bryan Rappaport and the Department of Foreign Affairs Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA), Maria Roseny B. Fangco also attended the seminar as guest speakers. Rappaport lectured on the Syrian refugee resettlement of Canada while Fangco highlighted the Philippine Migration Policy. A highlight of the former Overseas Filipino Workers were their stories of struggles and trials in a foreign land, surviving gender based violence from their employers.
 
Many of the participants expressed appreciation for pool of experts and the topics discussed at the seminar.

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WAGI conducts Gender Fair Education training for BIR, NEDA, and Phil. Army

Last June 6-10, 2016, Miriam College-Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) conducted a training on Gender Fair Education for Gender and Development (GFE for GAD) for employees of the Philippine Army, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). A total of 38 participants attended.
 
Led by Prof. Aurora de Dios, executive director of WAGI and Stella Eloisa M. Fong, research associate and Training Administration and Gender Fair Education coordinator, the training team included: Anna Dinglasan, co-convener of CEDAW Youth; Atty. Christine Lao, International Studies faculty and coordinator of the IS Bureau; Dr. Noel C. Racho, Miriam College Human Resource director; Lynda Garcia, CAS faculty; Liza Garcia, program coordinator of Gender and ICT, Foundation for Media Alternatives; Dr. Carol I. Sobritchea, chair of the Technical Panel for Gender and Women’s Studies of the Commission on Higher Education; Atty. Carmelita P. Yadao-Sison, focal point for CHED-GAD; and Melanie Reyes, deputy director of WAGI. Dean Rica B. Santos graced the occasion through her welcome remarks.
 
Different topics were presented to the participants, among them were: Gender and Peace Education, Magna Carta of Women, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Cyberbullying, Social Media Ads, Women’s and Human Rights Education in the Philippines, GAD direction for the HEIs, Non-Sexist Language, overview of Gender Budgeting and Planning, and Gender Statistics, to name a few.
 
Participants considered the training as “relevant to our needs,” and suggested to “continue to advocate the GAD Programs in all government and private agencies.”  One participant also said, “My understanding about GAD was fully guided by the lecturers.  I am a changed person realizing that I have to be gender sensitive and should help GAD be cascaded to my agency.”

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Women’s groups reject Duterte’s apology, to file complaint against Digong by Trisha Macas | GMA News

Women's groups on Tuesday rejected the apology of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte over his controversial remarks on the rape and killing in 1989 of an Australian missionary.

In a forum at the Miriam College in Quezon City, over 10 groups pushing for the rights of women signed a statement asking Filipinos to vote for a president  who “respects us, our place in society, and our dignity.”

The groups also indicated that they will file a formal complaint before the Commission on Human Rights against Duterte.

Sister Mary John Mananzan, director of the Institute of Women’s Studies (IWS) of the St. Scholastica’s College, explained why she could not accept Duterte’s apology.
“He may forever be asking apologies, the way I see it. Because, whatever comes from his mouth comes from the core of his being. All his apologies will be like forced apologies for political reasons or anything. But sincerely, how can he do that when the core of his being [is] kabastusan na eh?" Mananzan said.

"Paano lalabas iyon eh iyong lalabas sa bibig mo kung ano ang nasa puso mo? Kung mag-apologize ka kailangan nasa ikalaliman ng puso mo. Kaya ako, anumang apologies niya, hindi tunay at hindi sincere,” she added.

Duterte refused to apologize on Sunday but on Tuesday, a statement indicated that he apologized for his remarks.

Jean Enriquez, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific, said the groups are set to file a case against Duterte before the CHR on Wednesday morning.

Enriquez cited that the Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women mandates the government to protect the rights of women, which is contrary to what Duterte has been doing.

“Itong pananalita ni Duterte ay hindi pagprotekta sa kababaihan. Bagkus, ito ay nag-e-encourage sa paglabag sa aming mga karapatan,” Enriquez said.
Enriquez added that the complaint does not only include Duterte’s recent remarks on the rape of an Australian missionary, but also his previous statements and actions.

Rape culture

In their statement, the women’s groups slammed Duterte’s remarks that seem to support rape women.

“Mayor Duterte, it is not okay to disrespect women. Even if they disagree with you. It is not okay to violate woman's dignity, whatever their situation in life is. It is not okay to make jokes about rape victims. You victimize them over and over with every joke you may about their tragedy," it read.

Among the groups that signed the statement are those supporting the candidacy of former Interior secretary Mar Roxas and his running mate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo: "Yes2Mar and Leni" and "Win for Mar (WFM)".

Roxas-Robredo supporters were also seen at the event such as singer Leah Navarro and singer-songwriter Jim Paredes. One of the sharers, Trish Kaye Leone who emotionally shared her experience as a rape survivor, wore a yellow ribbon pin on her shirt.

Known supporter of Senator Grace Poe and Robredo, former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani also attended the event. —NB, GMA News


SOURCE: GMA News > http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/563276/news/nation/women-s-groups-reject-duterte-s-apology-to-file-complaint-against-digong#sthash.Od870PQy.dpuf

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Women outraged by Mayor Duterte’s remarks by Florangel Rosario Braid | Manila Bulletin

Last Monday, at a meeting of women convened by leaders of several women’s groups, a series of activities were planned for the next few weeks – a press conference (held yesterday at Miriam College); the filing of a case before the Commission on Human Rights Gender Ombudsman; mobilization for the 3rd and last presidential debate where the issue will be presented through statements in several languages and dialects in Dagupan City; a communication and organizational plan for expanding and reaching out; and, a still to be defined “Big Protest.”

By now, most are aware of the reaction of Mayor Duterte over the video about an Australian rape victim as it had gone viral. The collective that had gathered at Club Filipino is inter-generational; some are alumni of the “parliament of the streets” in the early ’80s; others are working professionals and students. They come from varied political parties but are bound by a common cause which is outrage over the “impunity and violence against women.” And they plan to use the mass and social media and other channels to communicate their sentiments, reflected in the following statements:

Ang abusado sa kababaihan ay abusado sa kapangyarihan. The rape culture in our society persists when officials like Mayor Duterte crack jokes at the expense of rape victims. By making light of the gruesome rape and murder of Jacqueline Hamill, he sends the signal that it is okay to rape women.

Mayor Duterte, it is not okay to disrespect women. Even if they disagree with you. It is not okay to violate a woman’s dignity, whatever their station in life is. It is not okay to make jokes about rape victims. You victimize them over and over with every joke you make about their tragedy.

Worse, he refuses to apologize for the gross mistake that he made. He refuses to acknowledge the savagery behind his actions. Instead, he remains unrepentant and swipes at women’s groups who condemn his actions, saying he does not need their vote.

To our fellow Filipinas, this is an issue that transcends politics. This is an issue that strikes at the very core of our dignity. On May 9, let us cast our votes for a president who respects us, our place in society, and our dignity. We deserve nothing less.

The above was shared together with a longer statement prepared for the press conference, Here are some excerpts:

The 1989 rape, and his recollection, of it, may, he must have hoped, showcased Duterte’s bravery, offering himself in exchange for the hostages’ freedom. But it also reveals Duterte’s fatal, feudal flaw: Viewing women as objects for men’s delectation, a view shared by many men. He even excuses this flaw and his “gutter language” as simply “the way men talk.” If so, then men of conscience and decency should likewise take offense at the mayor’s stereotyping of them. He has also explained away his crassness by saying it is simply the way the poor and unschooled talk. But in reaction, a woman urban leader remarked: “Insulto naman yan sa mahihirap. Para mo nang sinabi na bastos kaming mahihirap.” (An insult to the poor. It’s like saying all of us are uncouth).”

It is as if the string of landmark gender laws women won (at great effort) never happened: The laws penalizing sexual harassment (1995), redefining rape as a crime against persons (1997), protecting women and children from the violence of those sworn to love them (2004), and creating the overall rights-based Magna Carta of Women (2010).

The evidence of Duterte’s “gutter view” of women has been on national display for many months now: His freely volunteered confessions of serial adultery, his sexual harassment of women who happen to be present at his rallies, his use of name-calling and questioning of the sexuality of opponents (‘bayot’), and now his desecrating the memory of a rape-and-murder victim. Add to this his unabashed admission of killings conducted in the name of law and order and tacit support for the notorious Davao death squads, and we have an alarming scenario indeed. Don’t say we weren’t warned – or didn’t see it coming.

But women will not be taking it sitting down – or stewing in silence, or worse, with laughter and connivance. Women will no longer be punished, patronized, purveyed. Women are leading, organizing, governing, creating. Mr. Duterte, if you do not know this yet about women, you do not deserve to be their president. And if you do not learn your lessons this late in the game, then women will make sure you do not become their president.


SOURCE: Manila Bulletin > http://www.mb.com.ph/women-outraged-by-mayor-dutertes-remarks/#CAFwGdsoChiidxFE.99

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Rape is not joke | ABS-CBN News

PHOTO BY MANNY PALMERO, ABS-CBN NEWS,04/19/2016 10:00 PM

Representatives of different women groups hold placards denouncing rape jokes during a gathering in Miriam College in Quezon City on Tuesday. The group raised concern over Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's speech during a campaign sortie where he made light of a rape-slay incident in Davao City in 1989.


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Women will keep on to see the resurrection by Jasmin Nario-Galace | Philippine Daily Inquirer

The last men standing were actually women.

Women accompanied Jesus throughout His suffering until He breathed His last and was laid in the tomb. Women were also the last ones seen in the gallery of the 16th Congress until the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) breathed its last and was laid in the tomb by the same Congress.

But the women are not wailing. They pin their hope in the resurrection of a peace process stalled by the nonpassage of the proposed BBL. They are not weeping. They know that the failure of Congress to pass the proposed law will not put off the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on March 27, 2014.

Hence, they are keeping on. They are working to sustain the gains of the peace process, some of these their own.
The peace process may have been derailed, but women are already assured of their right to meaningful participation in political affairs and protection from violence as this right is already enshrined in the CAB, the peace agreement that lays down the principles for the establishment of an autonomous political entity for the Bangsamoro.

The peace process may have not yet reached the finish line, but we can no longer discount the fact that women played meaningful roles in getting to where we are at the moment. The head of the government’s peace office is a woman, and so is the government’s chief peace negotiator. Women are heads or active members of various peace mechanisms such as the Joint Normalization Committee, the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission, the Third Party Monitoring Team, and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission; women lead the government’s technical and legal teams. Even the MILF has two women advisers in its legal team. Hence, in terms of actual participation, women have broken the glass ceiling.

The peace process may have been temporarily silenced by the nonpassage of the proposed BBL, but we celebrate the fact that the voices of the women in communities, normally unheard, have been brought to the fore. Women were consulted on what they wanted in the Bangsamoro Basic Law and saw their perspectives actually integrated by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission in the BBL draft it submitted to President Aquino as well as in the House of Representatives ad hoc committee’s version of the bill.

Congress may have struck down the proposed law, but it can no longer take away the confidence this peace process has built among women who were trained in leadership and participation in governance, peace and security. The skills in public speaking, advocacy, message and platform development, among others, will stay with the women, many of whom are seeking positions in the upcoming elections. Yes, the belief that they are secondary citizens has been challenged these past years during the peace negotiations. “We can participate,” women joyfully exclaimed in one of the leadership training sessions of which this author was cofacilitator.
Indeed, the developments brought about by the peace process have convinced them that the days of political invisibility are over. Mindsets and attitudes have changed, including those of men, many of whom are now supportive of the cause.

The peace process may have been stalled, but the long period of sustained ceasefire has allowed women and men in the conflict-affected areas to experience how it is to live without war. Women have expressed time and again that their sources of insecurity were war and armed conflict and their impact, such as evacuations and displacement; the peace and order problems including the proliferation of firearms; and socioeconomic deficiencies and social instability. But thankfully, the sustained ceasefire has allowed children to go to school, and their elders to engage in livelihood uninterrupted. The sustained ceasefire has allowed development programs and socioeconomic activities to flourish. Women can’t let go of that peace now. They will build a path forward.

Yes, the 16th Congress may have struck down that piece of legislation, but women will keep on to see the resurrection.

Jasmin Nario-Galace is executive director of the Center for Peace Education-Miriam College, Secretariat of the Women Engaged in Action on 1325. WE Act 1325 worked with Al-Mujadillah Foundation, Kutawato Council for Justice and Peace, Nisa Ul Haqq fi Bansamoro, Pinay Kilos, Tarbilang Foundation, Teduray Lambangian Women’s Organization and UnYPhil-Women in projects to put in operation women’s participation in the Bangsamoro that are administered by Conciliation Resources and Oxfam and funded by the UK and Australian Embassies.




SOURCE: Philippine Daily Inquirer > http://opinion.inquirer.net/94057/women-will-keep-see-resurrection#ixzz45b3kafTq


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