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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).
In the words of Police Lieutenant Colonel Melbeth Mondaya: “Protection and education for girls is especially important because they are the key to women’s empowerment.”
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.
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.