Bishop cites women’s role in peace building

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MANILA, Nov. 9, 2012— A Catholic bishop has called for further steps toward the full participation of women in all stages of conflict resolution and peace building.

Tabuk Bishop Prudencio Andaya Jr said that concrete steps must be put in place to empower women and increase the proportion of their involvement at all levels of peace building and decision-making.

“Women play a big role in maintaining stability particularly on the area of peace building,” Andaya said as he recall how a mother forgave her child’s alleged killer and prayed for his reformation two years ago.

He said the rare act of the forgiving mother appeased the family and relatives to seek revenge, which Kalinga, a landlocked province in northern Luzon, is known for.

This gave birth to the organization of the Peacemakers Movement of Kalinga composed mostly of victims of violence and its later alliance to the Women Engaged in Action on 1235 and other peacemaking organizations.

“The murder of her boy, an engineering graduate and her offer for prayers for the spiritual reformation of the culprit inspired me to spread out the good news that women can make a difference when it comes to conflict resolution,” he said.

The bishop made the call during a recent orientation workshop on the implementation and localization of the Philippine National Action Plan on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 held last month at the Tabuk Pastoral Center, in Kalinga.

During the workshop, participants from the religious sector, academe, business and the media were asked to integrate the PNAP 1235 in their works.

UNSCR 1325 marked the first time the Security Council addressed the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women.

It also recognized the under-valued and under-utilized contributions women make to conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace building and stressed the importance of women’s equal and full participation as active agents in peace and security. (RL/CBCPNews)

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