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Tag: Ma. Lourdes Veneracion-Rallonza
It has been four years since the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) turned over its Report that sought to study and analyze historical injustice, legitimate grievances, human rights violations, and marginalization through land dispossession in the Bangsamoro, and since then, several national and regional initiatives on transitional justice have materialized.
For over 14 years, the Global Gender Gap Index has charted the relative gaps between women and men in the areas of the economy, education, health, and politics. It has served as a measure for policy and programmatic decisions to improve the status of women. Specifically, the Global Gender Gap Index has the following sub-indexes and ratios:
MeToo is a movement against sexual violence -- it calls out perpetrators of violence and places them in an arena of shame. Unfortunately, in most cases, those who come out and share their MeToo narrative are met with doubt, blame, and are shamed themselves; in other instances, they are lauded by some for their courage amidst tragedy but they turn a blind eye to perpetrators whom they know.
Let us understand something: sexual violence is not about sex alone -- it is about power that one forces over another and uses sexual advances to achieve their goal. As argued by Susan Brownmiller, author of Against our Will (1975), “a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.” Thus, rape is about power through the use of sexual violence.
Forty-five years ago, a massacre took place in the town of Malisbong, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat. Those who were children then remember their fathers and older brothers being taken to the Tacbil Mosque, never to see them alive again; they remember their mothers holding their hands as they were herded to a naval boat named Mindoro where they huddled day and night under the heat of the sun and the cold of the night -- no food, no water, no armor against the elements. They remember the elderly and children their own age getting so weak, sick, and being thrown overboard -- bodies never to be found. They remember young women making themselves ugly in order not to be taken fancy to by armed groups and ending up being raped and sexually violated.
It has been six years since the Zamboanga Siege took place on Sept. 9, 2016. It was an armed incursion into Zamboanga City led by a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) loyal to Nur Misuari. Fighting ensued between the MNLF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
There has been another uproar concerning gender and comfort rooms, thanks to an incident where one who was not born female (i.e. sex; physiological), who redefined their identity as a transwoman (i.e. gender; social construction and reconstruction), decided to use the women’s comfort room in a mall. The politicized image was that of transwoman being handcuffed and paraded out -- somehow reminiscent of a scene in Game of Thrones where Cersei was paraded naked in public, with a monotone but powerful word “Shame!” echoing behind the “accused.”
Transitional justice has been one of the buzzwords in the peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), specifically, under the Annex on Normalization. True to its mandate, the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) submitted its Final Report to both panels in March 2016, providing explanations for historical injustice, legitimate grievances, human rights violations, and marginalization through land dispossession, and offering analysis as to the root causes of the Bangsamoro conflict as well as recommendations based on the pillars of Dealing with the Past.
Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in the country has been a political project for both civil society and government. Taking off from the global agenda of advancing women’s human rights in the context of armed conflict and conflict transformation, commitment to WPS has been institutionalized through several National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security (NAP WPS): the first generation covering 2010-2016, the second generation that introduced amendments in 2014, and the third generation that includes the period from 2017 to 2022.
There will always be some kind of “bragging rights” for those that come as “the first’” -- the first to do this, the first...