‘Women play key role in peace process’
(The Philippine Star) - March 9, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Peace advocates and civil society groups have acknowledged the key role that women play in preserving the gains of the Bangsamoro peace process and in ensuring that these are continued by the next administration.

 “Women have proven themselves to be good at conducting listening workshops for Bangsamoro communities... It provided peaceful platforms for reflective expressions of their anger and frustrations due to the non-passage of the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law),” said Xarifa Lao-Sanguila of the National Civilian Protection  Monitor of Nonviolent Peaceforce during a forum held at Miriam College on Monday.

Sanguila urged women leaders to lobby with provincial peace and order councils to pass resolutions to compel the military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to respect the ceasefire mechanisms.

 “We need to institutionalize and strengthen women-led local early warning systems for war rumor management and information validation,” she said.

Karen Tañada, executive director of Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute, said women should actively participate in the peace process.

“It takes a village to complete a nation and women to complete one. To sustain the peace gains at the time of no-BBL, we have to build a path forward to help the next administration hit the ground running,” Tañada said.

“The women in Mindanao have their own gains in the peace process. There are no more wars and a chance for development,” she added.

Government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said the success of the peace talks with the MILF was due not only to the patience and understanding of the two sides, but also the collective effort of various stakeholders, especially women.

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