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ARMM intensifies Gender and Development mainstreaming in the region

Cotabato City (November 25, 2015) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is intensifying its campaign to mainstream Gender and Development (GAD) and eventually eliminate Violence against Women (VAW).

The region, through its Women Commission (RCBW-ARMM), kicked-off the annual “18-day campaign to end incidences of violence against women” on Wednesday, November 25, in this city.

The campaign, based on a national policy, is being held from November 25 to December 12 aimed at raising awareness among all stakeholders that violence against women is a public issue and of national concern. It supports the government’s goal to protect the human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of violence against women.

Abderson Antao, RCBW-ARMM planning chief, said part of the campaign is pushing for the institutionalization of the Gender and Development focal point system in each agency in the region. Such system, he said, is the mechanism to implement and mainstream Gender and Development in the offices.

“Gender and Development is very important. If implemented thoroughly, it will protect and promote the welfare of women. Both men and women have a role in social development and in peace building especially in conflict-affected areas like the ARMM,” said Antao.

Antao said they are urging all agencies to have an established Gender and Development focal point system. Currently, only the region’s Education department, Department of Agrarian Reform, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources are the only agencies with an established focal point system.

Simultaneously, the region launched the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the ARMM Gender and Development Code. The code is the regional translation of Republic Act 9710, or the Magna Carta for Women and was signed into law on May 20, 2013.

“ARMM is demographically and culturally distinct. The code is an instrument in addressing gender issues and advancing the status of women in the region,” said Antao. This year’s campaign bears the theme “End VAW Now! It’s our duty! Gains and ways forward”.(Bureau of Public Information)
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