Muslim women take on peace advocacy roles
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (28 January) -- Dubbed as the true peacemakers, Muslim women are now tapped in every peace-building activity that only Muslim men used to be involved in.
"It is the in the nature of a woman that makes her the real peacemaker," said Magbassa Kita Foundation Inc chairperson Santanina Rasul during the three-day regional conference on women as peace advocates held at Waterfront Insular Hotel, Davao City on January 24-27.
Around 140 Muslim women from the academe, government, youth and indigenous groups attended the training which focused on conflict prevention and peacemaking as well as civic education that will help them bring in peace in their community.
Rasul stressed that it is about time that Muslim women should be empowered and exercise their capability as peace advocates in their own land. History showed that Muslim women and children were affected most in the long conflict between separatist movements and the military. They suffered from displacement, human rights abuses and poverty.
However, Muslim women's tolerance and resilience to overcome the effects of war have molded them to embrace a role which has long been nature in them.
This pushed the civil society along with foreign-funded organizations to mobilize greater participation of Muslim women.
The Japan Foundation, the Magbassa Kita Foundation (MKFI) and the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy (PCID) then launched the Noor-us Salam: Women of Faith and Light of Peace, a project that seeks to empower the "aleemat" or Muslim women religious scholars in peace building. (PIA XI) [top]