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2nd Bangsamoro women leaders’ summit slated in Cotabato City

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), through the Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women (RCBW), set here on March 14 -15 its 2nd ARMM Bangsamoro Women’s Economic and Development Summit.

The event, which has for its theme “Meaningful Change for Economic and Political Participation from Bangsamoro Women,” is expected to attract some 500 women leaders from regional government agencies and local government units as well as from civil society groups and representatives from various communities.

Sittie Jehanne Mutin, chair of the RCBW, said the summit’s main objective is to strengthen the capacity of women leaders in the region in assuming various roles in economic development leading to a more progressive autonomous region.

She said the summit will attempt to answer questions on women’s participation in economic development such as the meaningful participation of women in politics and economy, and the role of women in building a peaceful economy through transitional justice and prevention of violent extremism, among others.

The RCBW noted the summit is anchored on policies of the national and regional government aimed at empowering women.

At the national level, the Magna Carta of women guarantees women’s right to political participation and representation, as well as access to economic opportunities.

The region’s Gender and Development Code, meanwhile, emphasizes equal rights among women and men in the political front and that covers involvement and representation in regional and local institutions.

Currently, the ARMM leadership has given priority to women’s active participation in economic development. For instance, ARMM’s Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security for the years 2017 to 2019 provides specific action points on women’s empowerment and participation aimed at building an enabling environment for peace.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman and Commissioner Ma. Rowena Guanzon of the Commission on Elections will deliver the summit’s welcome remarks.

On the other hand, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza will give the summit’s keynote address. A series of discussions such as ‘How Women Make a Difference in an Era of Change’; ‘Women and the Bangsamoro Basic Law’; ‘Protecting Bangsamoro Women thru Social Protection Services’; ‘Women as Transformative Leaders’; ‘Halal and Micro-Financing for Bangsamoro Women’; ‘Livelihood Opportunities and Challenges’; and ‘Linking Political Participation to Economic Empowerment’ will be covered by experts during the summit.

In February 2016, the RCBW has also organized a two-day summit among ARMM women leaders aimed at enhancing women’s participation in good governance.

Noel Punzalan / PNA