MASIU, Lanao del Sur – In celebration of the Bangsamoro Day and Women’s Month, Save the Children Philippines together with Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), conducted a dialogue with the Bangsamoro Islamic Women Auxiliary Brigade (BIWAB) on addressing the needs and situations of women and girls in their communities.
TFBM Assistant Secretary Felix Castro graced the activity and delivered a message on the importance of women in nation-building and improving one’s self to live a better life.
“Empowering women is valuing our future as they are the primary caretakers of children who will soon be our future leaders. They also play a significant role in the growth and development of our society,” said Atty. Alberto T. Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines.
Save the Children Philippines advocates for women’s equal rights to economic participation and empowerment and has launched the Restoring Livelihoods and Learning Project in 2020, funded by the Government of Japan through the Asian Development Bank, to provide livelihood assistance on traditional craft and weaving to over 300 women in Lanao del Sur.
“These underserved women, the former Islamic women militaries, were selected based on their vulnerability and willingness. Most of them are seniors, solo parents, and widowers. We basically want to reach these women who are often neglected,” said Baicon Cayongcat-Nuska, Head of Raheemah Women’s Organization.
Nuska notes that women’s participation is critical in the growth and development of children, especially girls. If given equal access to services and opportunities, they would become strong foundations in shaping the future of our society and advancing the lives of the Bangsamoro people.
Battalion Commander Salha Abdul Majeed, one of the recipients of the intervention, emphasized that women’s participation is integral in forming a stable and safe household. “These interventions will give our women the chance to participate and earn even in the comfort of their own homes,” said Majeed.
Edwin Horca, Save the Children Philippines Team Leader for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), highlighted that the revival of the Maranao weaving industry will not only give these women and their families an equal chance to financial opportunities, but also, to practically help in weaving peace and development in their communities that will provide children a place where they can freely learn, survive, and be protected.
“Their products will not just be beads, threads and sequins intricately woven and sewn in a fabric. These will be the stories of peace of this unheard sector of women that capture their sacrifice and aspirations transformed into colorful canvas of hope.”, Horca added.