Saturday Jul, 13 2024 01:32:22 AM

‘Bangsamoro women can lead,’ says women groups on BARMM 2025 polls

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 15:45 PM Thu Jun 13, 2024
A Bangsamoro woman sectoral representative holds a banner during the forum at Grand Pagana Hall, Cotabato City, on June 5, 2024, to discuss strengthening women’s participation in the polls. . (Michael Camsa/BIO)

COTABATO CITY — Bangsamoro women representatives from various organizations convened in a forum to discuss strategies for strengthening their participation in the upcoming first Bangsamoro Parliamentary Elections in May 2025.

In this recent gathering, Sittie Nur Dayhanna Mohamad, Project Officer of the Al Mujadila Women’s Association, emphasized the significance of the reserved seat for the women’s sector, calling it “historical.”

“Women will now have spaces and relevant issues about us will now be addressed,” she said.

“Ang Bangsamorong kababaihan ay may kakahayahan ding mamuno,” Mohamad stressed.

[Bangsamoro women can also lead.]

The Oxfam Pilipinas-led forum served to educate women about the BARMM’s governance structure and the Bangsamoro Electoral Code (BEC), the region’s governing law for the forthcoming 2025 polls, in partnership with the Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC) and several non-governmental organizations, including UNYPhil-Women and WEAct 1325.

Fairodz Mawarao, UNYPhil-Women Project Officer, stressed that the dialogue is significant in raising awareness for the Bangsamoro women on the ground and intensifying the protection of their rights.

“Mahalaga ito upang mapagtibay ang proteksyon ng Karapatan ng mga kababaihang Bangsamoro,” she said.

[This is important in safeguarding the rights of Bangsamoro women.]

She also expressed her optimism that the soon-to-be-elected woman representative in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament will support all the agenda for women.

Under Section 7 paragraph (c) of Article VII of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), one reserved seat is allotted for the representative of the women’s sector, alongside seven other seats for the non-Moro indigenous peoples (NMIPs) and settler communities—two seats each, and another one seat for every youth, traditional leaders, and Ulama representatives, all constituting 10% of the Parliament.

Elizabeth Yang, National Coordinator of WEAct 1325, a network of human rights, peace, and women’s organizations, mentioned that educating the women representatives about the procedures stipulated under the law is necessary for an effective engagement in the electoral process.

During the event, guidelines for certification applications from these sectoral organizations for women were also discussed.

As of June 5, the BWC shared that nine sector organizations have already been certified.

Earlier, it was announced that the deadline for submitting applications of the interested parties would be on Friday, June 7, 2024. However, as of Thursday, June 6, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced that the application period for sectoral representative organizations had been extended until July 1, 2024, through Resolution No. 11004.

Meanwhile, COMELEC Chairperson George Erwin Garcia lauded the BTA Parliament for the ‘authentic’ representation of Bangsamoro women in the regional legislative body, which he believed was a good start for the BARMM and the Philippines. (Johamin Inok/BIO)

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