Spearheaded by Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women (RCBW-ARMM) through ARMM Womenomics [a RCBW-formed organization of Bangsamoro women aspired for the economic development of ARMM], the month-long celebration stirs the promotion of women’s inalienable rights not only as individual but as a catalyst for the development of the society. The festivity further serves as venue in showcasing the unique and distinct culture of the Bangsamoro women vis-à-vis defending rights in the context of Islamic teachings.
Conceived in 2006, the ARMM Womenomics continue to adhere its mission of integrating women into global economy. The group laid priority agenda to respond ARMM governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan’s call for the enhancement of regional development. One of the agenda is the participation in business matching opportunities and trade to promote the ARMM Bangsamoro women products globally.
This year, ARMM Womenomics elected president the ARMM chief of staff, Hadja Bai Rebecca Ampatuan and honorary chairman, ARMM first lady, Hadja Johaira Midtimbang-Ampatuan.
Also showcased are the diverse exhibits from the five-province autonomous region patentedly Bangsamoro women. Displays included hand-crafted native products, foodstuffs and hand-woven materials. There were also cultural games, livelihood skills training and home-care products preparation.
Moreover, National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) Commissioner Florencia Cabatingan who graced the event said that 91% of women are now involved in micro-enterprise and mostly are sole-proprietors. She cited that most women are seen in academe, construction firms, plantations and even heading government offices if not holding political positions.
“There would be no economic development if half of the population is not liberated,” Cabatingan stressed citing that 49.7% of the population in the Philippines are women.
Further, National Commission on Women in the Philippines (NCWP) Board of Director Bai Putri Norhata Macatbar Alonto said, “If you educate a man, you educate a family, but if you educate a woman, you educate a generation.”
Cabatingan reiterated the four-point program of NCRFW in empowering women – Human Rights [eg. Violence against Women and Children (VAWC), Human Trafficking and Men Oppose to Violence], Women Enterprise, Good Governance Program and Gender Development Budget.
The event highlighted the awarding of plaques to outstanding women in ARMM which includes ARMM chief Hadja Bai Rebecca Ampatuan and mother, Hadja Bai Leila Ampatuan. The award acknowledges the significant contribution of Bangsamoro women, who were successful in nurturing their children and flourishing in their chosen field of career.
ARMM Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan, on the other hand, extends congratulations to the Bangsamoro women commission for being a vanguard of women’s rights and to all Bangsamoro women who share time, effort and wit for the development of the autonomous region.
“Let us learn by heart the real essence of women not only in our homes but in the society. Passé as it seems, but it’s true, in every success of a man, behind is a woman. Indeed, the autonomous region will develop completely with the help of the women,” Governor Ampatuan said.
The celebration ended with ARMM Womenomics president-elect, ARMM chief Bai Rebecca Ampatuan’s challenge for Bangsamoro women to get involved in economic activities and enterprise development to substantiate that “women’s role is not only contained in the four corners of the house, much more in governance and nation