MARAWI CITY – In recognition of the role of women in settling conflicts, Relief International, a non-government organization supporting women advocacy in the province of Lanao del Sur and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, recently unveiled a women’s peace marker in Barangay Basak Malutlut here.
RELIEF International Africa-Asia Regional Director Mark Atterton (second from left) leads the unveiling of the women’s peace marker in Marawi City. (Bonita L. Ermac)
"I believe women have a stronger position in peace, should bring peace. I also think that as a head of household, the mom has a strong voice as well, and of course respect to women who man should have or must have," Relief International for Africa and Asia Director Mark Atterton said.
The unveiling of the public billboard with the message "Ina, sindao Tano sa torogan; Bae gonanao Tano sa kalilintad" (Mothers, we are the light of the house; Women, we are the guide to peace) affirmed women's role as nurtures of families and builders of peace in the communities.
"This marker is symbolic of our common aspiration and faith in the capacity of women to take active role in the building of peace in all communities in the Bangsamoro region and in fragile settings around the world," Atterton added.
Atterton visited a women's group affected by the Marawi Siege in 2017 to check the results of the Empowering Women for Peace in Fragile Settings program.
The program seeks to empower women in the community, especially Maranao women.
Barangay Captain Norhaya Langco Indol-Grande told Atterton her barangay has been empowered by women leaders for 36 years.
These women were further empowered after the siege when she tapped 20 widowed women for the Barangay Peacekeeping Force.
Lanao del Sur Vice Gov. Mohammad Khalid Rakiin Adiong is grateful for the recognition of women in their community because apart from being the light of every home, they stabilize the family.
Adiong is hoping that everybody becomes peace advocates and said the provincial government is ready to support everyone who wants to be a partner in their province in helping and uplifting women.