DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 Sept) — A Teduray woman advocating non-violence and Indigenous Peoples’ rights is among this year’s winners of the N-Peace Awards.
Jo Genna “Jude” Martin Jover of Upi in Maguindanao is one of six winners in the category “Untold Stories: Women Transforming their Communities” of the N-Peace Awards.
Jover is the lone Filipina among the 10 N-Peace awardees.
Launched in 2011, the N-Peace Awards aims “to recognize and profile women and men leaders and peacebuilders creating change at the grassroots to national levels in Asia.”
Coordinated by the N-Peace Network across Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Afghanistan, and the Philippines, it “shines a light on women and men who demonstrate leadership in building peace and empowering their communities.”
This year’s N-Peace Awards has three categories: Untold Stories – Women transforming their Communities, which honors women peace champions in their communities; Campaiging for Action – Women and Men Mobilizing for Peace, which recognizes both women and men “whose national-level mobilization and advocacy efforts have resulted in the advancement of women, peace and security issues;” and The Peace Generation – Young Women and Men Building Peace, which honors young people under 30 years old “whose work for transformation in conflict, post-conflict or fragile communities or countries has resulted in the advancement of women, peace and security issues.”
According to profile posted by the N-Peace Awards, several members of Jover’s community have suffered from injustices, such as intrusion into their ancestral domain. “This injustice has led some indigenous peoples to take up arms against the government,” it said, adding that (Jover) has organized members of her tribe “to continue working for justice and to try and bring about change by adopting strategies of non-violence.”
“Despite the intense stories of violence and oppression she hears from some communities, she remains unyielding to calls from groups to take a hard line within the peace process. (Jover) is confident and resolute that peace is achievable and that justice for indigenous peoples can be attained through dialogue and other peacebuilding methods,” the N-Peace Awards said.
It added that Jover’s work in her community includes raising awareness on the rights of indigenous peoples and women and that as member of the Steering Committee of the Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE Act 1325), she has organized trainings to ensure women’s meaningful participation in governance as well as in peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. She also led consultations in the Bangsamoro peace process.
Jover also ran for mayor of her town against a traditional male politician who has held power for a long time. She lost the elections but she continues to campaign for women’s political participation by encouraging women to take up leadership roles in as many different mechanisms as possible.
At present, Jover “facilitates listening sessions with grassroots Moro communities affected by the decades-long conflict with the government.”
She is also a member of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) in the Bangsamoro peace process, T’eduray-Lambangian Women’s Organization (TLWOI), DEVCON, IPDEV, Women’s Peacemakers Program (WPP)-Netherlands, OTLAC, Kapayapaan at Katarungan (AKKAPKA), and Alagad Mindanao.
On her Facebook wall, Jover said the award is “an opportunity to let the world know that ordinary women can contribute to peace-building.”
Aside from Jover, the other winners in the “Untold Stories” category are Hassina Neekzad of Aghanistan, , Jull Takaliuang of Indonesia, Ja Nan Lahtaw of Myanmar, Sharmila Thapa of Nepal, and Rubina Feroze Bhatti of Pakistan.
Winners in the “Campaigning for Action” category are Kaushila Chaudhary of Nepal and Rahmat Ullah Rahimi of Afghanistan while winners in the “Peace Generation” are Maryam Durani and Rahmatullah Noorzai, both of Afghanistan. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)