Message of UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez for the Second State of the Bangsamoro Women Address

"BARMM is in a unique position to address violence against women and girls – given its learnings in the context of armed conflict and humanitarian crises."

[Watch the video message here]

I would like to thank the BARMM Regional Government and its local partners for its continued efforts towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The recent adoption of the Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, 2020-2022 is a landmark in this challenging journey.  

BARMM is in a unique position to address violence against women and girls – given its learnings in the context of armed conflict and humanitarian crises.

Protecting the rights of women and girls during this time is a top priority for the United Nations. The Secretary General issued a policy brief this year, calling on governments to take concrete action to put women and girls at the center of all efforts to tackle and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

We know that BARMM has gathered important lessons from the armed conflict, from natural calamities and now from COVID-19. This experience could serve as an example to other areas on how women and girls’ rights are upheld, and their needs addressed:

There are a number of areas of work:

Ensuring women’s participation in early warning, response and recovery and community safety; The creation of Women- and child-friendly spaces; Psychosocial support; Cash transfers; cash for work, amongst other examples.

Legislation such as the regional Gender and Development Code and other gender-related policies should be passed at the regional and local levels.

Women’s leadership and participation still needs to be increased in the public sphere especially at the local level where conflict and displacement are most felt.

Opportunities for women’s livelihoods, business development and employments should be increased not just to ensure incomes, but better social protection in cases of shocks caused by natural disasters.

Women civil society engagement should be encouraged to better inform the development of laws, policies and programs, as well as monitor and assess effectiveness of government initiatives.  

Someone said time ago: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. … It shouldn't be that women are the exception. 

With these and more, we look forward for a better state for the Bangsamoro women in the years to come.

Thank you very much

Speech by
Gustavo González
Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator
Gustavo Gonzalez
UN entities involved in this initiative
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Population Fund