From where I stand: “Thanks to the women’s determination, we brought peace to the community”Almira Maricor, 49, is a mother and entrepreneur from Orandang community in the Bangsamoro area of the southern Philippines. Almira, along with other women from Orandang, had the courage to mobilize the local government and successfully reduce conflict in their village.
There was a time when we had to move to another village because of a clan feud [known as rido in the local language]. During the rido, there were gun fights, and I told my husband that we had to leave because other people said that the young boys would be shot. I feared for my children because they were still small.
We stayed in another village for seven years until we came back to Orandang in 2012. This time, the elected chairwoman said that she would help end the rido.
Men were afraid and could not go outside because of the rido. If they go out, they might be attacked. So, we women decided to go and talk with the district governor. Our chairwoman accompanied us to the governor’s office to tell him our problem. He said that he and the mayor would help us and that they would make this a priority. They helped us because they saw that there were many of us women who wanted peace in the community.
Ultimately, we were able to negotiate with the clans involved and come to an agreement. The rido was settled. Thanks to the women’s determination, we brought peace to the community. The chairwoman, governor and mayor helped us too, and we are very thankful because our community is more peaceful now.”
Almira Maricor is an entrepreneur from the Philippines who received skills trainings through the Empowered Women, Peaceful Communities programme run by UN Women and implemented by The Moropreneur Inc. The programme aims to empower women to build resilient, cohesive and peaceful communities to prevent violent extremism. The Orandang community in Maguindanao has a long history of clan feuds and women in are often responsible for livelihoods as the men do not leave their homes for fear of being embroiled in the feud. Almira’s story relates to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, which aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, and Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment.