Women leaders converge in first BARMM's women stakeholders forum

COTABATO CITY, Mar. 20 (PIA) – Around 300 women leaders and stakeholders from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) recently participated in the first women stakeholders’ regional forum under the newly established Bangsamoro government.

The forum was spearheaded by the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and was aimed at engaging women leaders from different sectors of the community in a meaningful dialogue to hear their aspirations and policy recommendations for the BARMM.

OPAPP Executive Director Gloria Mercado underscored the important roles of women in the society especially in addressing women peace and security issues.

“We are here to encourage all of you to be our champions for women peace and security agenda in your respective communities and workplace. There is no other perfect timing than now. As women it’s our duty to create spaces where we can speak with one another, listen to each other, and support one another in addressing key gender issues and concern,” she said.

With the different roles that women portrayed, Mercado emphasized the need for women to maintain a good sense of balance.

“We need a good sense of balance as a mother, sibling, wife, daughter, friend, colleague, leader and a member of the community. Today, we will try to put into action how do we maintain that balance, and how do we put it together in the context of the Bangsamoro,” she emphasized.

Meanwhile, BARMM parliament member Atty. Laisa Masuhud-Alamia stated that women should have more power on decision making at all levels.

“The main goal is to make sure that women are at the forefront of peace building, at the forefront of sustainable development and economic empowerment, and most importantly women should be at the forefront of decision making,” Alamia said.

During the activity, participants were tasked to make a Bangsamoro women agenda based on the discussions. This will be submitted to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) for consideration.

The forum, held in consonance with the Women’s Month celebration, was anchored on the theme, “Bringing the Women Together: A Regional Stakeholders Forum in the BARMM.” (PIA-Cotabato City)