IN PHOTO- Ms. Wahida Abdulla, Founder and President of Gagandilan Mindanao Women Incorporated

Women Launches New Group to Counter Violence

Zamboanga City – A group of women launched the Women Against Violent Extremism (WAVE) on September 30, 2018 at Royce Convention Center, Astoria Hotel, Zamboanga City. 

The group aims to reflect and implement the results of the Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution No.1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), and to highlight through its activities the importance of integrating prevention of violent extremism (PVE) into the WPS Agenda. 

The Bangsamoro women’s organization will incorporate the four pillars of Resolution that are prevention, protection, participation and relief and rehabilitation into its objectives. 

The program launching was attended by one hundred fifty (150) activists, religious leaders, researchers, students and government officials in the City of Zamboanga.

Ms. Wahida Abdulla, Founder and President of Gagandilan Mindanao Women Incorporated on in her presentation of program overview emphasized that the importance of the new movement, and the launching of WAVE promotes opportunities. 

She said it is “for providing awareness and preventing violence against women and extremism.” 

“The formation of this group is to “strengthen women’s political and economic participation as a tool to counter violence, and the importance of the passage of R.A. No 11054 also known as the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as a deterrent to extremism and radicalism.

She also mentioned Article IX. Basic Right, Sec. 12 and Sec. 13 on Protection of Women and Youth that will also ensure the protection and welfare of Women and the Youth in the Bangsamoro Territory

Mr. Alistair Harris, CEO of The Stabilization Network (TSN) stressed that sometime women are seen as either victims or perpetrators of violent extremism, so their role “plays in building resilience at the community level” as quoted. 

Rasalyn Romo-Echem, Director of the Gender Research, and Resource Centre shared her views that violence in all its forms brought untold suffering. It is often within the home where violence starts. 

She cited also the United Nations Security Council Resolution which highlighted the impact of war on women that also gave recognition to “women’s contribution to conflict resolution and sustainable peace.” 

She admitted that women were not always the victims; some were tragically also perpetrators and false teachers who had been influenced by extremists, and as a result went to great lengths to become extremists themselves. 

In reality, some of them are trained in combat roles while others played multiple supporting roles in violent extremist group. With this, she stressed that women should be heard, and that policies should be balanced as they can be a partners in any positive venture.