In today’s session, the Bangsamoro Parliament discussed five bills, including the Women’s Caucus Bill, which aims to establish a legislative platform in which women members of the parliament can “advance a broad range of women’s issues in the Bangsamoro, including children’s rights issues.”
“Having a women’s caucus can help build, mobilize, and solidify political consensus among members of the parliament as it works to pass laws on matters concerning gender equality and development,” Minority Floor Leader Atty. Laisa Alamia said during her speech. She highlighted the need to encourage “the collective and united presence of women in decision-making spaces as they do pioneering work that can aid the elimination of gender-based distinction, exclusion, violence or restriction, through legislation.”
Recognizing the need for inclusivity and solidarity, MP Alamia noted that all incumbent female members of parliament will comprise the Caucus unless they submit a request to be excluded and will “include all women — including transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming women — as part of an effort to break free from conventional assumptions surrounding gender and identity.”
“Being surrounded by fellow women in the initial stages of legislation in the Bansgamoro helps strengthen the confidence of an otherwise limited number of women in government, she noted, as it gives them an opportunity to discuss ideas and influence policy agenda that center women’s voices and experiences that run the risk of being “silenced and overlooked.”
Apart from the Women’s Caucus Bill, the Parliament also tackled 12 resolutions and one committee report during today’s session.