ARMM marks national women’s month
Cotabato City (10 March 2015) – The Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women (RCBW) will mark the observance of the national women’s month this March in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with activities focused on giving assistance to women and children displaced by the present military operation in Maguindanao.
The military offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has now escalated to 11 towns in the province, displacing more than 60,000 people, mostly women and children.
RCBW Chairperson SittieJehanneMutin said women, children and the elderly undergo tremendous ordeal in times of conflict.
“We anchored our activities with the region’s call for peace because of what is happening now in our region, especially in Maguindanao, We are asking everyone especially those affected to cling to hope and help each other,” said Mutin.
She said conditions in evacuation centers can be very hard, with hundreds of families having to rely mostly on relief assistance for food.
The RCBW said the women’s month celebration will feature activities such as peace dialogues, lectures on women rights, trainings on entrepreneurship, and other social activities including relief operations and psycho-social intervention to women and children staying in evacuation centers.
The celebration, which carries the theme “Babae, angdesisyonmo ay mahalagasakinabukasan ng bawatisa, ikawna!”, kicked-off on Monday with a parade participated by ARMM employees in Cotabato City.
A dialogue on the Mindanao peace process was held in the afternoon with a representative from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) discussing updates on the ongoing peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and a lecture about the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Mutin said they want to accelerate the participation of Moro women in peace building, economic empowerment and in enhancing gender development intervention for good governance in the region.
She also appealed to elected officials and lawmakers to support the peace process to end the off and on conflicts in Mindanao.
Other scheduled activities of the agency include an orientation on RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act, trainings on economic and entrepreneurship in the five provinces and two cities of ARMM, in partnership with the local government and CSOs, and relief operation together with the region’s Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (HEART).
The observance of National Women’s month every March is in line with Proclamation No. 227 promulgated in 1988. On the other hand, the declaration of March 08 of every year as National Women’s Day is by virtue of Republic Act 6949 promulgated in 1990.
The RCBW is the principal women development agency of ARMM. (Bureau of Public Information)