"Now women are actively participating and are able to say what is in their minds". (Linang Otto/JRS Philippines)

As a Field Officer in the areas of Lanao del Norte, my main responsibilities are to organize and assist women displacements that are effected by armed conflict. I specifically work in the 6 Barangays of the municipality of Munai and 6 Barangays in the municipality of Tangkal.

In 2012, I started to organize women for JRS’s peace advocacy project in Lanao, focusing on raising awareness and understanding of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).  Currently, JRS advocacy is now focused on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and my main tasks are to assist in the community preparation and in the actual forum.  

Aside from this, I am also doing project monitoring of our livelihood assistance provided by JRS to the women organizations of Munai and Tangkal. I provided training and mentoring on simple bookkeeping and cooperative management. 

Women-beneficiaries expressed that they are happy because the project is generating income and the livelihood project helped them a lot in taking care of their family’s daily expenses. 

I observed that the communities are trying hard to understand the BBL, especially the women. Women are confined to their homes and do not have a clear knowledge and understanding of the BBL. The advocacy JRS provides gives space for women to go out from their homes and to learn, listen and participate in the social activities of the community. 

Now women are actively participating and are able to say what is in their minds. The men in the community now understand and agree that women need to know about the BBL too because whatever happens will effect everyone in the community.

It is a challenge for JRS to provide accurate information about the standing of the BBL as it is in Congress and it is still under deliberations. 

With any setbacks in the passing of the BBL, there is a great chance that another conflict will ensue in the areas. 

I am thinking now that if this happens, the people in the community will be affected, as everything that was started by them after the war will be greatly impacted.


* Linang Otto in Philippines


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