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Women in ARMM are more empowered – Barodi

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur --- Women in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are more empowered compared to those in other regions in Mindanao, an official from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Wednesday.

Suod Barodi, PSA-ARMM interim regional director, said results of the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by PSA in 2013 show that women in the region have better participation in family decision-making, control over their earnings and rarely experience acts considered to be violence against women (VAW).

PSA says the 2013 NDHS “provides up-to-date information on the population and health situation in the Philippines.”

The NDHS show that 44 percent of working women in the ARMM have control over their earnings and have greater participation in decision-making on family matters such as health care and other major household concerns.

Only 2.7 percent of women in the region experienced VAW, which includes sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

In terms of help seeking behavior, 26.3 percent of them sought help to stop violence, a likely indicator of the women’s awareness on VAW and of government advocacies addressing it.

Further, the average percentage of pregnant women who experienced VAW is lower in the ARMM - 1.4 percent - compared to the national average of 4.2 percent.

VAW cases in other regions in Mindanao are comparatively higher. Zamboanga peninsula registered 3.9 percent, CARAGA 9.3 percent, Northern Mindanao 9.6 percent, Davao region 9.8 percent and SOCSARGEN 11.4 percent.

“The NDH survey is reflective of the advancement on gender and development (GAD) code fostered with the Bangsamoro culture on its high regard for women,” Barodi said.

ARMM is also considered to be the safest place for women based on data released by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in August this year. Only 82 of the 23,622 crimes against women committed during the first semester of 2014 happened in the region.

The ARMM was created in 1989 and is composed of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi.

(Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/PIA-10)

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