COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC) conducted a dialogue with its partners to discuss action plans in response to the increasing number of violence against women and children (VAWC) cases in Maguindanao.
Dubbed “Exploring Ways: Prevention and Response to Gender Based Violence,” the dialogue held Monday, Sept. 27 in Cotabato City was attended by focal persons from the ministries of Social Services and Development (MSSD) and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs (MIPA), Bangsamoro Darul Ifta, civil society organizations, security sector, Muslim religious leaders, international non-governmental organizations, and Women and Children Protection Desk and local government units from the municipalities of Datu Odin Sinsuat and South Upi.
The activity is in line with the mandates of the BWC that is to promote and protect the rights of women and children in the Bangsamoro region.
Helen Rojas, chief-of-staff of BWC Chairperson Bainon Karon Helen Rojas said the dialogue was first conducted in the municipalities of DOS and South Upi as the number of rape cases in the towns were alarming in the past two years.
“There are stronger steps that should be taken especially in terms of policy and legislation. It has to be addressed very effectively and efficiently so that we are not only assisting the VAWC victims, survivors in their recovery, but the main target is how do we prevent this kind of incidents from happening,” Rojas said.
She also mentioned that last year, the BWC worked with the Philippine National Police – Maguindanao and the United Nations Population Fund in developing protocol and guidelines on how to respond and prevent gender based-violence (GBV).
Among the action plans identified during Monday’s activity include the induction of VAWC/GBV in Khutbah (Islamic sermons), monitoring of filed cases, and community orientation on VAWC/GBV imperatives.
“Kabilang din sa mga intervention ang other programs in related sa VAWC at kasama din ang Psychosocial intervention ng MSSD,” Rojas added. (Bangsamoro Information Office)