North Cotabato Women Undergo Training on Gender, Peace, and Conflict

Sa training na ito, ang masasabi ko ay mabuti kasi nakita ko talaga na lahat pantay-pantay. Ang mga participants mixed man: may pulis, may  mga liders, mga kagawad, may teacher, may mga housewife. Pero despite sa pagkakaibang yun, pagdating dito sa acivity na ito, walang mataas o mababa. Lahat tayo nandito para matuto at nalaman natin talaga na kahit sino ka pa o anu ka man sa mga community natin eh may halaga at role tayo.” (In this training, I can say that it is very good because I see everyone is fair. Participants are mixed: policewoman, leaders, barangay councilors, teachers, housewives. But despite these differences, here in this activity, there is no superior or inferior. All of us are here to learn and we really learned that every one of us is important and has a role to play in our community.)

Above is a testimony from one of the participants during the training on “Understanding Gender and Peace” and “Conflict Resolution Skills” held last September 2012.

Understanding Gender and Peace

The training started with a workshop called ‘living realities’ that helped participants describe their communities through drawing and presentation. Other workshops were also introduced to participants which are effective approaches in achieving the activity objective.

Inputs provided are useful in promoting awareness among the participants on the recognition of the roles and rights of every individual regardless of sex, differences in culture and religion that helped towards building of better knowledge among participants on the concept of gender and peace.

Topics discussed included gender and sex, leadership and its types, productive and reproductive work, gender and religion, and gender responsive budget.

Discussion on gender and sex was done through collection of ideas from the participants on their understanding of “man/boy” and “woman/girl” from which the resource person defined and explained the differences between the two. Topic on leadership was discussed after the film showing that features women power in non-violent approach of resolving conflict; while on productive and reproductive topic, participants were able to learn and appreciate the work/job that everyone does in the community.

Gender and religion was discussed by an invited Ustadza (female teacher in Arabic) who gave inputs on gender and Islam from which the participants learned more on the teachings and rulings of this religion on women.

Important also to discuss was on gender responsive budget where women participants were taught and introduced of strategies on how to manage their income to address one’s basic needs. From this topic where realization and consciousness among participants on financial responsiveness was achieved based on their comments during the discussions.


Conflict Resolution Skills

Relevant to gender and peace is the topic on conflict which was separately discussed during the Conflict Resolution Skills Training.

In this training, participants were able to involve themselves in workshops, discussions, role play which equipped them of significant information towards their understanding of conflict and strategies or approaches for its resolution.

Different views and perceptions of participants on conflict, violence, and peace were collected in determining their levels of understanding before the resource person provided the definition of these three interrelated topics.

Participants also had the chance to share their personal experience of conflict and how were they able to handle and find solution to it from which the resource person introduced to them different approaches to conflict.

Participants were also asked to identify the causes of those conflicts they have experienced.

Aside from their personal experience of conflict and handling conflict, participants were also asked of the conflict they can identify in their community and put down its causes and effects to the society as a whole.

The story-telling session put participants into challenge as to their comprehension of a story on conflict analysis. Here the trainer gave inputs on the importance of conflict analysis, with deeper understanding of the given situation.

Other topics included peace and peace-building; self-enhancement that built awareness among participants on the problems faced by everyone on different aspects; communication and its importance in dealing with conflict.

This series of training was part of the Gender Justice Program of United Youth of the Philippines-Women (UnYPhil-Women) in partnership with EED which aimed towards women empowerment and gender-equity. Participated not only by women but by men also, goal of the program is to promote cooperation among all sectors towards a just and peaceful society.

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