Secretary Ging Deles highlights key role played by women in achieving peace in Mindanao

Department of Foreign Affairs | Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles highlighted the key role played by women in achieving peace in Mindanao in a statement she delivered at the second day of the 57th session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York on March 5.

The CSW is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women.

In her statement, Secretary Deles highlighted the “historic turning point” achieved by the Philippines “in bringing an end to the violence of internal armed conflict” with the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro last October 2012 in which women had played key roles.

Secretary Deles proceeded to underscore the series of laws signed into the last three months, namely: Republic Act No. 10354 or the “Republic Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012” signed in December; Republic Act No. 10361 or the Kasambahay Law signed in January; Republic Act No. 10364 or the “Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act” in February and Republic Act No. 10368 or the “Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013” signed one week before the UN meeting.

Secretary Deles likewise highlighted the “unprecedented female triumvirate” at the highest levels of the justice system with the Supreme Court, Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman, all headed by women.

The Philippine statement was received with warm applause by audience aided in part by the 30-strong Philippine delegation composed of several senior officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Commission on Women, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Health, the Department of Justice, the Philippine National Police and representatives from civil society and the Philippine Commission on Human Rights.

The theme of this year’s meeting is the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. The negotiations leading to the adoption of agreed conclusions—the outcome document of the meeting—which will begin today, March 07 are closely watched given this year’s theme.