RCBW-ARMM holds forum to curb election-related violence against women
Cotabato City (March 3, 2016) – The Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RCBW-ARMM) will conduct a forum on Gender and Election Related Violence (ERV) on Friday, March 4, to help encourage greater participation of women in the upcoming presidential elections and bring down election-related violence in the region.
Sittie Jehanne Mutin, chairperson of the RCBW-ARMM, said the forum aims to discuss the connection between gender and ERV cases in the country, and “to gather recommendations and best practices to combat ERVs, especially against women.”
“Women’s political participation remains low in the Philippines,” Mutin said.
According to the RCBW-ARMM, only 19% of the candidates in the national, local and regional level in the upcoming May 2016 elections are women. In the 2013 mid-term elections, 18% of the candidates who got elected to office are women.
“Adding to the challenges on the stereotypes on the roles of women and lack of encouragement and support for women’s active participation in election, is the vulnerability of women as easy targets for ERVs,” Mutin added.
ERVs refer to “acts or threats of coercion, intimidation or physical harm committed to affect an electoral process.” The Philippine National Police (PNP) considers ERVs as violent incidents that happened within the election period.
According to the PNP, a total of 391 incidents of ERVs were recorded in the 2010 national elections, and 196 in 2013 midterm elections.
The forum is a joint activity of the RCBW-ARMM and the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). It will be held at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC) inside the ARMM Compound.
An estimated 700 participants, which includes stakeholders from the House of Representatives Committee on Women and Gender Equality, Directors of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), representatives from political parties, national, regional and local candidates, the academe, women and religious groups, are expected to attend the forum.
The RCBW-ARMM will enlist the commitment and support of participants in promoting better political participation for women and in ensuring a peaceful and violence-free election in the ARMM. (Bureau of Public Information)