If we want to see peace in the country, women would do a great job in resolving conflicts with their empathy and nurturing qualities.
“Women are indispensable in establishing peace, stability, and economic and social progress,” says Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
To commemorate International Women’s Month, the regional governor puts women in a pedestal as partners in progress.
Lauding them for their resilience, he says, “The world has always regarded women in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for their grace, courage and resilience. These are the women who, for centuries, have boldly stood by their male counterparts to resist the countless attempts of foreign powers to establish dominion over their homeland. And today, they persist amidst the on and off conflicts of our time, and in the everyday struggle that life throws at them.”
He added that these women don’t see themselves as inferior nor do they allow themselves to be restricted by traditions and social pressures.
“Women of our time want to rise up and take meaningful role in advancing society,” says Hataman.
He explains that women have experience in managing their roles as mothers, home-makers, employees, entrepreneurs and public servants. These tasks require the capacity to inspire, influence, express, negotiate and mediate between significant members within their circle. Women have shown their nurturing skills for benefiting the common welfare. These qualities are what organizations are looking for in today’s leadership.
He points out that several women are occupying key positions in ARMM whether in local government or the executive and legislative branches. They have initiated programs that have improved the community welfare. He also commended Moro women who led the advocacy of such causes as education, health and human rights, to securing peace and stability in Mindanao.
Hataman also lauds the women in the rank-and-file that have made the ARMM a well-oiled machinery on a daily basis.
However, despite the progressive status of Moro women, many are still inhibited or held back due to maltreatment, illiteracy, displacement of war and poverty.
“The working government of ARMM is committed to enabling women to take their rightful place in the society apart from protecting them from all forms of abuse. Not only do we recognize their capacity, we promote, at all times, their active involvement in our development efforts, “says Hataman.
He maintains that their participation is necessary solving some of the region’s social problems.
“This can only be possible if they are empowered and given adequate influence,” he says. “Let us all work to guarantee that women from all walks of life are able to enjoy their freedom and rights, rise up against abuse and pursue their dreams and potential. We are likewise hopeful that it can help bring us closer to the society we longed for—distant from the insecurities brought about by armed conflicts and poverty.”
ARMM Women, like Lanao Del Sur Governor Soraya Alonto Adiong, Deputy Speaker Bai Sandra Sema, Congressman Ruby Sahali, Anak-Mindanao Partylist Representative Sitti Djalia Turabin, Jehan Mutin of the Regional Commission on Bangsamoro, Taraka Mayor Nashiba G.Sumagayan, Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, ARMM-DAR Sec. Amihilda Sangcopan, NCMF Commissioner Fatmawati Tulawie Salapuddin, and Maguindanao Prosecutor Atty. Kookai Lao, are great examples of leadership and femininity.
“Women’s Month is not just about having women in position, or being heard. It is about rethinking our ways as a community and as a people, that everything else is connected to each other, that the air we breathe has to be thanked for and can be damaged by our ways of doing,” adds Gutoc.
Says Atty. Maisara C. Dandamun-Latiph, commissioner, Bangsamoro Transition Commission, “Women make the other half of peace. Their gentle voices can muffle the barrel of a gun. Because war begins in the hearts and minds of men and women, it is women who instill ideas of peace and forgiveness in a child from birth to adulthood. Their participation in the peace process makes the quest for peace real and possible.”
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