By Julmunir I. Jannaral
COTABATO CITY — Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC) Chairperson Bainon Karon delivered last Thursday, Nov. 25, her 3rd State of the Bangsamoro Women Address (SOBWA) to kick off the 18-day campaign to end violence against women in the region.
With the theme: “VAW-free Bangsamoro community, starts with Me”, the campaign aims to raise awareness and eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls.
“Inaanyayahan ko ang lahat na makiisa sa kampanya sa pamamagitan ng pagsumbong, pagsugpo sa mga umaabuso at nang-aabuso para hindi na dumami pa ang kababaihang biktima,” Karon said. (I am inviting everyone to be with us in our campaign through the means of reporting to stop the abuses so that the abuses against women will not proliferate.)
Karon also emphasized in her address that when she assumed office as the chair of the BWC in 2019, her first priority was to ensure that a gender and development (GAD) agenda is adopted for GAD planning and budgeting; and that agenda should be integrated in a law to be passed as GAD code.
“Masaya ko pong ibabalita sa inyong lahat na, as of September 2021, meron na po tayong final draft ng Bangsamoro Gender and Development Code. Ito po ay nasa tanggapan na ng ating Chief Minister upang ito’y kanyang mapag-aralan. Ang Bangsamoro GAD Code ay naisama sa Tier 1 ng Priority Legislative Agenda ng Bangsamoro Transition Authority,” she said.
Karon also highlighted in her speech some initiatives that were designed to facilitate more involvement of Bangsamoro women in peacebuilding efforts.
“Hindi natin makakamtam ang tunay na kapayapaan kung walang partisipasyon ng mga kababaihan sa proseso ng usaping pangkapayaan, she said. (The true peace will not be realized without the participation of the women sector in the peace process, she said.)
The chairperson also thanked The Asia Foundation, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, UN Women and United Nation Population Fund, UN Development Programme, and the SUBATRA (Support to Bangsamoro Transition) Programme for sustaining their support and commitment to strengthen capacities of key people in implementing GAD.
Meanwhile, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said the Bangsamoro government will make sure that the region is safe space for women – where opportunities, equality and empowerment are part of the norm.
“As mothers, sisters, and daughters, Bangsamoro women were fundamental in fighting injustices against our people and made sure that a better future awaits all of us. We would not reach the level of self-determination and meaningful autonomy if it weren’t for the love, the care, and the compassion of our Bangsamoro women,” Ebrahim said.
Present during Thursday’s ceremony were Social Services Minister lawyer Raissa Jajurie, Transportation and Communications Deputy Minister Von Al-Haq, Bangsamoro Transition Authority Member lawyer Maisara Dandamun-Latiph and Secretary General Prof. Raby Angkal, and representatives from the sectors of youth, women, and indigenous people. (JIJ)