Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation

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Bangsamoro Women and Peace

By Fatima Pir T. Allian

Fatima Pir Allian is Programme Manager of Nisa Ul-Haqq fi Bangsamoro (Women for Justice in the Bangsamoro) in the Philippines.  She was a participanticant at the WELDD workshop entitled “Culturally-Justified Violence Against Women: Resistance and Sustaining Our Activism” in Jakarta, Indonesia in August 2014. 
In our journey to peace, we have met different groups of people and organizations. We all have our own contexts, our own lived realities and our narratives to share. We may not meet eye to eye, and disagree on certain aspects of discussion, but we all shared one common goal. That goal is to stop violence and work towards peace.  A daunting task one might say but every hardship, roller coaster ride one must take will lead us to better lives. Not just this generation but also the next to follow.
Our generation is lucky to be able to witness a peace process that accorded space for women to participate and take active roles both at the negotiating tables and at the very heart of every family; the households, markets, barangay halls, religious centers, schools and many more.  The Bangsamoro Women had a lot to contribute in the success of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro (CAB).  This article is dedicated to the many women who worked silently behind the flashing of the cameras and press conference coverage.
Jurma Tikmasan and Dayang Karna Bahidjan of the Nisa Ul Haqq fi Bangsamoro has committed themselves to ensure that every community meetings and workshops represents the very heart of the discussion of the women in the islands. Sandra Salidatan of the Unyphil has worked seriously with her colleagues to ensure that the voice of our sisters in central mindanaw is carried out and reflected in the women’s agenda. Lolita Martinez and Ate Perlita Landigan of the Teduray Lambangian Women’s Organization (TLWOI) were all passionate in sharing with us the perspectives of the indigenous peoples on peace and what are their dreams and hopes come 2016. Regardless where you came from every woman in the household were all crying for peace.
Peace to the Women Lumad, Moros and the Settlers meant  there is food in the table, medicines are available, they can plant, harvest, fish, do seaweed and sell their goods without being harmed. Their young generation will be given the opportunity to better education and avail scholarship for those in the higher education. Their young girls and women are able to study and not to be arranged for marriage at a very young age. The mothers in their areas will have safe pregnancy and delivery inside a facility that ensures quality service.  Their traditions and culture will be preserved so that their identities will not be forgotten. The indigenous knowledge in handling conflict and mediation shall be recognized as one of the effective ways in promoting and maintaining peace in their communities. Lastly the women shall be consulted in all aspects of governance and engaging the women in meaningful political participation to ensure gender-responsive policies and mechanisms are in place to address the unique needs of women in general.
If one really looks at the recommendations of the Bangsamoro women stated above, is it not the same needs we have? “God does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who have neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes. In fact God loves the equitable.”  — Surat Al-Mumtahanah :8
This is the 14th entry in our #16Days 2014 blogging series.  We are bringing you an entry from one of our inspiring activists on each day during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Peace and Security