Date & time
Mindanao is found in the southern most part of the Philippines. It has the largest concentration of ethnic minorities in the country. They include the Tausog, Maguindanao, Maranao, Ilanun, and Sangil; all are Muslim groups sometimes collectively called the Moro. Groups usually found in the uplands include the T’boli, Subanon, Bukidnon, Bagobo, Mandaya, and Manobo. Another important group is the Tiruray, whose religion is a mixture of Christian, Muslim, and local beliefs. Because of its large expanses of undeveloped fertile land, Mindanao has been considered the country’s “pioneer frontier” or to many the “land of promise”.
Conflict in Mindanao is one of the world’s longest running, with roots tracing back to the colonial era and the dynamics of exploitation and resistance that marked that period. Over time, peace initiatives were undertaken to address the conflicts and issues faced the land of promise. But as generations of conflicts have gone by, many remain affected by the repercussions of these disaccords – with women and children on the top of the list. Many researches have been conducted which back up the claim that women and children from indigenous communities and remote areas of the Philippines, like in Mindanao, are most vulnerable to risks in particular affecting their peace and security.
In this discussion of the many vulnerabilities and arising issues faced by the women and children of Mindanao, we shall also look into the best practices and lessons learned from past experiences on can we better protect this sector through advocating for policies that are inclusive and sensitive to the needs of the women and children which can be applicable not only in Mindanao but in the entire country as a whole.
About the Speaker
Dr Marcelina Carpizo is currently the Director for Peace and Human Security Institute of Western Mindanao State University. She finished her Master of Science in social work in 1986 at Siliman University and Doctor of Philosophy in peace education in 2000 at Notre Dame University. She was team leader for Region IX on a study of young adult fertility and sexuality study jointly conducted with the Population Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman and previously thechairperson of the Philippine Against Child Trafficking (PACT) National Council from 2007-2013.
In this presentation, Dr Carpizo will provide grassroots experiences in dealing with the challenges and needs of one of the most vulnerable sectors - the women and children - in Mindanao. More importantly, she will highlight specific activities / advocacy proposals which can be adapted by the national government to better protect women and children in general and in conflict areas in particular.
She will also share recovery experience that had been undertaken during the 2013 Zamboanga siege dubbed as one of the first urban warfare in the Philippines. This section shall present the activities conducted by the Peace and Human Security Institute (PHSI) of Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) in fulfilling its role to bridge the academe and the government in responding to the peacebuilding needs of the affected population