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Sittie Janine M. Gamao, 32, is a Peace Programme Officer V, Ministry of Public Order and Safety in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the Philippines. Gamao helps to resettle in mainstream society former fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the violent extremist groups Maute/ISIS and Abu Sayyaf. She also helps widows of slain fighters.
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Aileen Hualde considers it her duty to help resolve conflict. She and other female volunteers created the Community Quick Response Team in South Upi, in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, first to help stem the COVID-19 pandemic there. Then the team worked with the local government to help almost 600 people displaced by communal conflict while giving priority to the needs of women and girls.
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Kert Tandog has been working for two years with the Liyang Network, which raises awareness of front-line environmental activists in Mindanao. One focus is training Indigenous communities on legal literacy and land property laws.
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The Philippines Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed an agreement in 2014 to end the protracted conflict in the Bangsamoro region of the southern Philippines. But while the agreement included provisions on empowering women, women and other groups including indigenous peoples, people living in conflict-affected areas and former combatants are at risk of being pushed to the margins.
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Over the years the people of Sulu province in the Philippines have experienced armed conflicts, violent extremism, kidnappings and multiple displacements. The province now is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Nurrunihar Mohammad is a provincial representative for the Bangsamoro Women Commission and a former-combatant of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
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Police Lieutenant Colonel Melbeth Mondaya is Gender and Development Focal Point of the Philippine National Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. The region has long been affected by private armed groups, violent extremism and violent clan feuding. In November 2021, Mondaya participated in a workshop on women, peace and security organized by UN Women and Bangsamoro Women Commission in cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
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UN Women considers it essential to promote digital literacy so citizens and activists can counter with messages of tolerance and peace.In Mindanao, separatist groups fought the central authorities for decades; tens of thousands died. A 2014 peace treaty between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front led to the establishment in 2019 of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. But challenges persist because of the slow progress of the new governance system, communal conflict, violent extremism, and threats to social cohesion brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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A landmark funding opportunity to support local women’s organizations across the country to engage in conflict prevention and promote sustainable peace was launched today in the Philippines by the United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF)*. This new, rapid and flexible financing is being made available for applications from women-led and women’s rights organizations.
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Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have not stopped Francisca Lofranco Tagalog, a community leader from Cebu City in the central Philippines, from helping women and children who experience domestic violence. “We have faced some new difficulties in our operations,” says Tagalog, 60, who leads the organization Bantay Banay (Family Watch). “But it did not stop us from doing the things we normally do for the community.”
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Government security forces attended a workshop alongside Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members this month, to explore how best to support women’s participation in conflict resolution and peace building in the newly autonomous region of Bangsamoro. The event was held 6-8 April 2021 in General Santos City, located on the island of Mindanao in southern Philippines.
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Through my peacebuilding work in Sulu, I connect with many different people, especially from conflict-affected and displaced communities. I am fortunate enough to have visited their homes, caught a glimpse of their lives and thus appraised their unique situations, which enables me to support them in a targeted way, and to recognize that there is a chance for peace to work...
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A young leader and women’s human rights activist from the Bangsamoro – the newly established political entity in southern Philippines. She is the Programme Manager of Nisa Ul Haqq fi Bangsamoro (Women for Justice in the Bangsamoro, a UN Women partner in 2016), an organization that provides a venue for Bangsamoro women to progressively interpret Islamic teachings on gender, women’s rights and peace and development issues.
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As a demonstration of commitment to place gender at the core of collaborative security action in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the Philippines, representatives from the Government and from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, security actors and representatives from women’s organizations came together for a three-day workshop (3–5 February 2021) to discuss how to strengthen cooperation on a range of issues related to gender and security in BARMM.
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UN Women celebrated the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on women, peace and security (WPS), bringing together women and gender advocates in the Philippines. The Philippines was the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to adopt a National Action Plan on WPS.
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Aileen Kesa Marie U. Hualde grew up in an indigenous community under martial law in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao. After having to flee her own home as a child, today she is advocating for other indigenous women who are still suffering from the consequences of conflict, violence and displacement. “Where I grew up, armed conflict and violence are intertwined parts of our story as a people. I was only a young girl when we were placed under martial law. To me, this is one of the darkest periods in the history of Mindanao..."
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Around 100 women leaders, advocates and civil society organizations working on gender equality and peace will be gathered in a series of online activities this October to mark the 20th year anniversary of the adoption of the landmark UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on women, peace and security. The celebrations will be led by UN Women, in partnership with the Women Engaged in Action 1325 (WEACT 1325) as well as the Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC), with support from the Government of Norway.
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A little more than a year after its creation, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is facing its latest threat to peace and security: the COVID-19 pandemic. Grievances associated with the pandemic, including inequitable access to healthcare and social support, are fueling community tensions, driving discrimination and hate speech, and reigniting violent conflict between clans and with government forces.
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Officers of the Philippine security sector gathered in Manila to discuss needs of women and girls in cross-border situations. The five-day training in Manila aimed to strengthen a gender-responsive, survivor-centred approach to transnational crime investigations. It was hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women with support from the Government of Canada.
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Narimbai Dimao, 48, is a mother and entrepreneur from Barangay Bulalo in the Bangsamoro area of the southern Philippines. She is a leader and active participant of UN Women’s programme to prevent violent extremism through women’s economic empowerment.
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Islamia N. Kamakan, 28, is a mother and new entrepreneur from the Bangsamoro region of the southern Philippines. Her family fled fighting in another village, walking three days without food, to live in the Buayan community.