Tuesday Mar, 05 2024 06:04:24 PM

Westminster Foundation for Democracy hosts female fellowship for BARMM

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 22:30 PM Sun Feb 11, 2024
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WFD Bangsamoro news release
Bangsamoro women leaders, facilitators, hosts and organizers pose during the Female Fellowship for the Bangsamoro in Davao City. (Photos from WED Bangsamoro)

DAVAO CITY - “I want to impact people’s lives. Tor contribute to our aspirations for homeland, nation, and faith (hula, bangsa, agama). But I am having second thoughts because I don’t feel confident enough yet.”

“I’m not feeling keen to vie (for elections) because I hate the politics that we have: money politics.”

These are just two of the powerful statements of delegates that resonated during the plenary session of the Female Fellowship for Bangsamoro (FFB).

Successful and promising women from across the five provinces of Bangsamoro gathered in Davao City from 5 to 6 February 2024 to commence the first of the series in-person retreats of the fellowship.

Developed by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, the FFB aimed to foster a network for women that encourages political participation, imparts skills in leadership and running effective campaigns as well as a safe space against stories of prejudices faced by women in politics.

Delegates come from different political parties, some are former politicians or government officials, and others are newbies in the political field who are contemplating to stand for elections in 2025 & beyond or take a proactive role in supporting women’s leadership within their political parties.

The delegates are Member of the Bangsamoro Parliament Tahata M. Maglangit, Member of the Bangsamoro Parliament NurReheda I. Misuari, deputy minister of Ministry of Social Services and Development Nur-Ainee T. Lim; former representative of 1st District of Maguindanao, Bai Sandra A. Sema; former Tawi-Tawi representative, Ruby M. Sahali, former member RLA-ARMM, Samira A. Gutoc; former councilor of Cotabato City, Christina T. Chua; former board member of Cotabato province, Dulia D. Sultan, CSO leader, Professor Arelene N. Sevilla, retired assistant schools division superintendent of Basilan, Nuriya K. Jamaldin and Atty. Bai Pangandsongan “Donna” G. Dilangalen.

The first day centered on contextualizing the BARMM political climate for women, looking at the elements that hinder women from being contributors to change and outlining the qualities that make a good leader.

The sharing of aspirations for BARMM which brought tears to delegates longing for sustained peace gains, gender dynamic in politics as well as the importance of soft power consumed the second day. 

Members of the parliament from Kenya and the United Kingdom, Hon. Millie Grace Akoth Odhiambo and Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Katherine Saville Roberts, respectively, shared their real-life experiences as women leaders and how they were able to navigate the challenging political landscape in their respective countries.

The succeeding retreats will be spread throughout 2024 as the Bangsamoro government prepares for the 2025 elections.

WFD is a UK public body that helps strengthen democracy around the world. It supports democratic stability in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The activities of the WFD in the Bangsamoro are supported by the UK Government through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) project.

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