Mayor Beng Climaco ledthe culminating activity of the Women’s month celebration in a ceremony dubbed “Unido Fuerza de las Mujeres Para Paz” at the Western Mindanao Command grandstand Monday.
The activity was a convergence of women in the police, military and other branches of service to show their active role in peace building. It likewise advocates equality in training, privileges and employment opportunities for women.
Highlighting the Unido Fuerza de las Mujeres Para Paz was the women formation of the peace symbol and a Zumba fitness activity.
The program kicked off with a prayer led by Wesmincom’s Catholic Chaplain Maj. Reynaldo Narisma. It was followed by a welcome remarks from Wesmincom chief LTGen. Rustico Guerrero and inspirational messages from Mayor Climaco and Lt. Col. Wanda Pee of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines.
The human formation of the peace symbol followed and the Zumba Fitness activity capped the event.
Mayor Climaco, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve Force, is the author of the Magna Carta of Women when she was a member of Congress. The law is a comprehensive women’s human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women.
The Magna Carta’s Section 15 entitled “Women in the Military” provides that the “state shall pursue appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination of women in the military, police and other similar services, including revising or abolishing policies and practices that restrict women from availing of both combat and non-combat training that are open to men, or from taking on functions other than administrative tasks, such as engaging in combat, security- related or field operations.”
The same law provides that women in the military shall be accorded the same promotional privileges and opportunities as men, including pay increases, additional remunerations and benefits and awards based on their competency and quality of performance.
“Women in the military, police and other similar services shall be provided with the same right to employment as men on equal conditions. Equally, they shall be accorded the same capacity as men to act in and enter into contracts including marriage,” the law provides.
Section 29 entitled “Peace and Development”, meanwhile emphasizes that the peace process shall be pursued with various considerations that include increasing the number of women participating in discussions and decision-making in the peace process, including membership in peace panels recognizing women’s role in conflict-prevention and peace-making and in indigenous system of conflict resolution.
Likewise the same provision mandates that development and inclusion of women’s welfare and concerns in the peace agenda, institution of measures to ensure the protection of civilians in conflict-affected communities with special consideration for the specific needs of women and girls, include the peace perspective in the education curriculum and other educational undertakings and the recognition and support for women’s role in conflict-prevention, management, resolution and peacemaking an in indigenous systems of conflict resolution. — Sheila Covarrubias