Friday, March 15, 2013

Deles cites enhanced role of women in PH peace process

From the Website of OPPAP

Deles cites enhanced role of women in PH peace process

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Posted on Sunday, 10 March, 2013 - 14:59

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles stressed the Philippine government's significant headways in enhancing women’s roles in the peace process.
“In the past couple of years, the Philippine government has achieved great strides in ensuring women’s presence on our peace tables – in what has been referred to as Track 1 of the peace-making process,” she said in a statement delivered recently during the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.Deles joined the Commission’s round table which adopted the theme, “Elimination and Prevention of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).” Attending the event were high-level representatives from 98 member states of the UN.

Deles stressed that the Philippines is a country faced with internal armed conflict on several fronts for the past decades. “We are very interested in sharing experiences and lessons learned on women empowerment and participation across countries facing internal armed conflict, which has had a major impact on making women’s lives more difficult, including the aggravation of violence against women and girls.”

She relayed the efforts and achievements of the Philippine government in enhancing women’s participation in the peace process.

“Specifically on our peace table with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which has been fighting a four decade rebellion against the Philippine government, women have been on the front line of our peace-making work. In the last three years, our national peace office which has oversight over five peace tables has been led by a woman – myself,” she said.

Deles went on to discuss that women are currently taking important roles on the peace tables. She said that the Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel is headed by a woman, Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and joined by a Bangsamoro woman Undersecretary Yasmin Busran-Lao. Other bodies, such as the Secretariat, Legal Panel, and Technical Working Groups on the Annexes are headed by and composed mostly of women.
The peace adviser added that three out of seven members designated by the government in the Transition Commission (TransCom) are women. The TransCom is a body mandated to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will be certified as urgent by the President and submitted to Congress for passage before it undergoes a plebiscite. Once ratified, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will be abolished and the new Bangsamoro region will be established.

“We already see the difference that has been made by the strong women’s presence on the peace table,” said Deles. She added that, in fact, the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed by the GPH and the MILF in October 2012 has a section that promotes the basic rights of women to “meaningful political participation and protection from all forms of violence.”

In another section, the FAB underscored that women should not be excluded or disadvantaged in the normalization phase which includes the “economic facilitation for return to normal life”.

Deles also related that the Philippine government’s socio-economic program for combatants and communities “deliberately targets the inclusion of women and girls” such that under its education component, college scholarships were awarded mostly to female high school graduates.

“In evacuation sites for families internally displaced by armed conflict on natural disasters, our Department of Social Welfare is setting up women friendly spaces including the provisions of separate toilets and private spaces, trauma healing and therapeutic play time for children,” she added.

Deles, a staunch advocate of women’s rights, said that the government is also undertaking the localization the Philippine National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 – a landmark resolution that acknowledges women’s capacity to make decisions on women, peace and security issues.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a policy-making body of the UN Economic and Social Council, dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Every year, representatives of member states gather at the UN headquarters to evaluate the progress on gender equality and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide. #