Bangsamoro Women get consulted on FAB

Women Participants in Brgy. Malingao, Midsayap North Cotabato.

Women Participants in Brgy. Malingao, Midsayap North Cotabato.

Ano ang magiging kinalaman naming mga kababaihan sa FAB? Ano ang aming makukuha mula dito? Paano? (How we women are related to FAB? What can we get from it? How?)

The above questions are the common concern of local women in communities during the series of consultation on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) among women in grassroots level conducted by United Youth of the Philippines-Women.

The consultation activity is among the programs of UnYPhil-Women in its goal towards meaningful participation of women in the peace process or to be specific the establishment of the Bangsamoro.

Participants

 Participants are mostly women. These women are mothers who are housekeepers and are usually left behind in community activities like forum, trainings, and seminars due to their busy tasks at home- which for UnYPhil-Women these women must be part of these activities because women, these mothers are the caretaker of the society- thus must be part of decision-making in all aspects in their localities.

Youth women also participated in the consultation. They are mostly out- of- school youth while some are studying but are interested to learn on FAB. There are also members of local government units, men and women who joined the consultation.

Participants are of mixed culture and religion- Muslims, Christians and the Indigenous People (IPs) or the Lumads.

Each activity has participants of more or less fifty (50) persons. This number is sufficient enough to ensure that the activity is not crowded thus everyone can listen well to the discussions in the activity.

Target Communities

This series of consultation started on February 2013 in three (3) barangays in the province of North Cotabato namely Brgy. Malingao in Midsayap, Brgy. Balabak in Pikit and Brgy. Manarapan in Carmen.  In Maguindanao, the consultation was conducted in Brgy. Muti of Guindulungan and Brgy. Mirab of North Upi. Women from Barangay Bagua III of Cotabato City also participated in the consultation activity.

The consultation will also take place in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur with the City of Marawi. The team will also be going to the Island provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) like Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

There are three (3) sets of consultation activity in each identified province.

Inputs on FAB

During the series of consultation, women are oriented and educated on the content of the FAB. This includes the basic information on the identity, territory and government of the Bangsamoro as described in the signed agreement.

Common issues and fears of many were explained and answered through the activity, for instance, the fear among non- Muslims that they will be Islamized. Through the consultation, UnYPhil-Women explained that this is not true, that FAB respects the existing culture religion of each group of people included to the to-be-established Bangsamoro.

To explain further, the term Bangsamoro, its history, and the people it identifies according to FAB, was discussed to the participants.

The Bangsamoro

Bangsamoro originated from two (2) words: bangsa (a Malay word means nation) and moro (a term used by Spanish in describing the courageous Moores in Morocco which they used also in describing the people of Mindanao who fearlessly fought against their colonization in the land).

The Shari’ah Law

Another important topic discussed in support to the above mentioned fear among the non-Muslims is on the Shari’ah Law. It was explained that the Shari’ah Law is only for Muslims. ”Shari’ah courts which according to FAB will have expanded jurisdictions like on criminal cases is only applied to the Muslims, while criminal cases among the non-Muslims is handled to the local civil courts of the national government”, told the resource person during the consultation.

Inputs on Women’s Rights

Taking the Magna Carta of Women as basis in providing lecture on the rights of women, UnYPhil-Women discussed the topic on women’s rights. Women learned their rights as women and as humans.

In the discussion, Women Rights is discussed as human rights- which is universal, inalienable and indivisible. “Meaning human rights and your rights as women and as humans are your rights from your first breath and no one can take away those from you”, the resource person said.

Given emphasis among women’s rights is the right of women on participation and representation. “In your question earlier, you women have big role in the FAB, in the peace process and all other aspects. You have the right to participate. According to Magna Carta of Women, women is and must be partners in nation-building because women have unique and special experiences during conflict, during times of crisis thus they have special needs”, told the resource person.

Women are encouraged to participate, to share their ideas and concerns. “You must participate, it is very important that you join in activities like this, in your barangay for instance- because if you don’t, then your concerns will not be heard, the resource person said encouraging the participants.

Group picture during the consultation in North Cotabato

Group picture during the consultation in North Cotabato

Workshops

The consultation activity is conducted with workshops where women actively participated. Through the workshop, women were able to share their personal experiences such as human rights violations on women, their situations in their communities and their specific needs.

Results of the workshops is documented and consolidated by UnYPhil-Women to come up with a unified recommendation to be forwarded and submitted during the “presentation of the project result to both GPH-MILF Panel” in advocating women representation in the peace process.

This series of consultation is a project of UnYPhil-Women which goal is towards adequate and meaningful participation of women in the peace process. This project is implemented in partnership with Oxfam, International Monitoring Team (IMT) through its Humanitarian, Rehabilitation and Development Component (HRDC) and the European Commission.

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One response to this post.

  1. wow, very good initiatives hoped we will be invited for Lanao Del Sur consultation. MuCAARD-POM is in Balindong Lanao Del Sur, we look forward for the Lanao consultation.

    Reply

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