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BARMM government secures long-term plan for women empowerment, security

COTABATO CITY (PIA) -- The Bangsamoro government has secured a long-term plan for women’s rights and advancement with the completion of its second Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (RAPWPS) 2023–2028.

The six-year gender-sensitive plan intends to address the various needs of women and establish a framework that would help solidify the promotion of women’s welfare and empowerment in the Bangsamoro region. 

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim reiterates the Bangsamoro government's commitment to promoting programs and projects for the development of Bangsamoro women in BARMM. (Photo: Bangsamoro Women Commission-BARMM)

During the official launch of RAPWPS on October 5, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim reiterated the Bangsamoro government’s unwavering dedication to advancing the role of Bangsamoro women in regional progress and sustainable development.

“This manifests our commitment to creating a society where the rights and contributions of women are recognized and promoted, and where peace and security are not mere aspirations but are realities for us in the government, and more importantly, the people in the grassroots,” he said.

Ebrahim said the plan also contains measures that gear toward advancing women’s economic opportunity, including access to healthcare and education, participation in decision-making, and protection from gender-based violence.

“This plan embodies a holistic approach, addressing not only the immediate security concerns but also the long-term development and empowerment of women in the Bangsamoro region,” he stressed.

The plan is composed of four pillars, namely protection and prevention, empowerment and participation, promotion and mainstreaming, and monitoring and evaluation.

BARMM gender and development (GAD) focal persons and other women rights advocates welcome the unveiling of the second BARMM Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (RAPWPS) 2023-2028 on October 5, 2023, at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC), Bangsamoro Government Center, Cotabato City. (Photo: Faisal Camsa Jr./Bangsamoro Information Office)

These pillars also feature a total of 18 action points with corresponding sub-action points and 68 indicators to be implemented through the combined efforts of different ministries and regional partners.

With the implementation of the RAPWPS, the BARMM ministries, offices, and agencies (MOAs), local government units (LGUs), civil society organizations (CSOs), academic institutions, and development partners will now collaborate with the Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC) to align their programs and projects with the plan.

As the leading agency in safeguarding the welfare of women in BARMM, the commission has expressed its unwavering commitment to promote the RAPWPS 2023–2028 as the blueprint for enhancing its initiatives towards meaningful participation and leadership of women.

Commissioner Bainon Karon of the Bangsamoro Women Commission, during the launch of RAPWPS 2023-2028, expresses hope that the plan may serve as a reminder to ensure the realization of the needs and aspirations of the Bangsamoro people, as stated in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and Bangsamoro Organic Law. (Photo: Bangsamoro Information Office-BARMM)

“There can be no genuine, just, and sustainable peace and development without the meaningful inclusion and participation of women in conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and governance in the region,” Commissioner Bainon Karon said.

She said that she appreciated all the ministries and offices in BARMM that have expressed their full support of the plan, as they shared the same goal of strengthening women’s participation in development and various spaces, including peacebuilding, conflict prevention, resolution, and post-conflict processes, among others. (LTB – PIA Cotabato City)

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