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In the words of Sittie Janine M. Gamao: “To overcome my own fears, I think of myself not as babae lang (just a woman) or bata pa (too young) but as a peace officer doing her work.”
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.
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.
In the words of Merolyn Tuwasa: “People with disabilities are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, but public services are not reaching them”
Merolyn Tuwasa is a physiotherapist and team leader for the Community Based Rehabilitation programme at Cheshire disAbilty Services Papua New Guinea (PNG). UN Women has implemented a COVID-19 Disability Inclusion Project, in partnership with the organization, to raise COVID-19 awareness among people living with disabilities, their parents, caregivers, and communities. The project has reached more than 200 beneficiaries across the capital.
In the words of Mary E Tegavota, National Recorder, Land Reform Unit, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey, “Only through women’s and girls’ empowerment can we evolve and promote women’s land rights.”
Women’s empowerment and gender equality are defined as a key priority of the Solomon Islands Government. Ministers in all sectors share the responsibility for ensuring and achieving equal rights with men, especially in the lands sector.
In the words of Habiba Sarabi: “Our vision is of an Afghanistan where every woman can live in peace and recognize her rights”
Dr. Habiba Sarabi, a trailblazing leader in Afghanistan, is one of only four women negotiating peace with the Taliban as part of the ongoing intra-Afghan talks. Trained as a hematologist, she became a peace activist, politician and reformer in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. She has served as Minister of Women’s Affairs and in 2005 became the first Afghan woman to serve as a governor. She continues to be instrumental in promoting women’s rights and peacebuilding at a crucial turning point for her nation.