COTABATO CITY—To strengthen the Gender and Development (GAD) initiatives in BARMM, the first part of consultations with its ministries, offices, and ministries (MOAs) to create the Gender Ombud Guidelines has started on Sept. 18 in this city.
Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC), as the Gender and Development Ombud of the region, gathered input from various GAD representatives, aiming to ensure the safeguarding of women’s rights. The outputs will be integrated into the Gender Ombud Guidelines.
These guidelines will serve as a critical mechanism for providing legal remedies, promoting women’s rights, investigating rights violations, and monitoring gender and development initiatives within the Bangsamoro Government.
BHRC Chairperson Atty. Abdul Rashid Kalim emphasized the pivotal role played by the Government of the Day in advocating for the rights of Bangsamoro women.
“Tayo po na nasa gobyerno ay may primary duty to implement the promotion and protection of the rights of women,” he stressed.
Atty. Alpha Carole Pontanal, Gender and Development Consultant, also shared that crafting the guidelines is the right thing to do as it eliminates discrimination, especially in advocating for equal opportunities in attaining a good quality of living.
“We need to have some sort of guidelines […] na mag-si-set how it responds to human rights violation against women and ibang genders,” she added.
The succeeding batches of the BARMM-wide consultations will include members of civil society organizations (CSOs), settler communities, religious organizations, Moro traditional leaders, and tribal leaders from indigenous people (IP) communities, among others.
In partnership with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), the Gender Ombud Guidelines is expected to be launched by December 2023.
This intervention is in line with the Enhanced 12-Point Priority Agenda of Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim in promoting the self-sustaining and inclusive development of women, youth, and other vulnerable sectors. (Johamin Inok/BIO)