2nd National Women’s Summit launches Peace Fund Program for Women

November 25, 2012 5:16 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Nov. 24 — When it comes to human rights, especially of women, the Philippines is said to be one of the leaders in having those rights addressed, as shown by the Magna Carta for Women and similar laws enacted for their protection.

The 2nd National Women’s Summit, with the theme, “Women’s Active Citizenship in the Era of ASEAN Integration,” critically examined women’s present and emerging concerns in the ASEAN region in light of the Philippines’ present economic, social and political challenges in the projected ASEAN Integration in 2015.

The conference, held Friday and Saturday at the Environmental Studies Institute at the Miriam College Campus in Quezon City, was hosted by the college’s Women And Gender Institute (WAGI).

Ambassador Rosario Manalo, the Philippine Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, said in her speech that it was important to keep a conscious balance of implementing the programs related to gender in the ASEAN Human Rights Bodies.

“…We don’t have to duplicate the program but, on the contrary, strengthen what they’re doing,” Manalo said. “The more human rights mechanisms we have in ASEAN, the better. The problem of the challenge will be how to coordinate and complement these efforts so that the efforts won’t be wasted.”

The conference provided space and the platform for women to actively discuss, debate and strategize on how they can better respond to opportunities and challenges posed by the shifting and evolving regional and global economic, political and security arrangements.

Discussions in the conference also tackled recent developments and issues in the political participation of women in preparation for the May 2013 elections and hopes to develop a 2013 Women’s Agenda for Political and Economic Reform as well as recommendations for a Gender Responsive and People-Centered ASEAN Region.

Plenary sessions were also held engaging in dialogues regarding gender dimensions of displacement—migration, human trafficking and conflict, women’s human rights in ASEAN, gender, peace and security in implementing U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820, and the Philippine National Action Plan, among others.

Among the highlights of the two-day conference were the launching of the Women’s Peace Table and the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Women’s Peace Table and Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman to start the Women’s Peace Fund.

The Peace Fund will provide small funds for livelihood projects directly to women in conflict-affected areas and women displaced by war in the Bangsamoro area.

In the spirit of active citizens’ participation in support of the peace process, representatives from various sectors such as academe, women’s groups, children’s groups, women workers and migrant groups were present at the event. (PNA)

SCS/ANP

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