“It’s a long road to peace in Mindanao, one that is beset with challenges and also opportunities,” Karen Davila said as she opened the fourth edition of Bangsamoro and Beyond: A National Conversation, a TV special that aims to generate wider support as well as engender positive awareness of the Bangsamoro, and its significance to the Philippines as a whole.

Among the resource persons invited to join the conversation is Minority Floor Leader Atty.Laisa Masuhud Alamia. Together with other BARMM officials, MP Alamia discussed the developments in the regional government following the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the status of priority codes in the Bangsamoro Parliament, and the prospects for women’s participation as the peace process continues in the Bangsamoro.

“There are provisions in both national and regional laws that support gender justice and gender equality but based on the lived realities of women not just in the Bangsamoro but in the entire country, we know that it takes more than the mere presence of women to have meaningful participation,” MP Alamia said.

“It’s a priority of the regional government to make sure that women are empowered through education, and to push and encourage women to come out and participate in the Bangsamoro government,” she added.

As part of ongoing initiatives to open up spaces for women’s participation in the regional government, MP Alamia filed the Women’s Caucus Bill in the parliament together with other women parliamentarians in the Bangsamoro. Women outside of parliament, especially those who are part of civil society, can course their issues and concerns through the women’s caucus and have their voice amplified in the Bangsamoro government.

Alamia also noted the need to uphold the rights not only of women but also of the youth and indigenous peoples in the region, as the Bangsamoro Parliament drafts its priority codes. She highlighted the importance of public consultations where the Parliament can “engage the public and get their ideas and perspective about the future they want for the Bangsamoro.” 

Bangsamoro and Beyond is produced and aired in partnership with the BARMM, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), The Asia Foundation, and the British Embassy in Manila.