Women Engaged in Action for 1325 (We Act 1325)—a national network of peace and human rights advocates in the Philippines—launched the publication "Women Speak: Perspectives on Normalization" on June 5, 2014. The results of the research will be presented at the ongoing Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London.
This research, developed with the support of the Australian Government, describes women's viewpoint on how their communities should look like as they return to peaceful conditions. The Women discussed issues around control of firearms, decommissioning, policing structures, and conflict resolution.
Women in the research agreed there is a need to limit the use of guns and to disband private armies. "They [men] feel powerful because they carry guns. This affects children because they copy what they see," said one of the women in the research. Nonetheless, women also recognize that firearms offer a form of protection and security.
Together with firearms, women discussed decommissioning. In the research women called for proper compensation and livelihood programs for those who yield their weapons. They also suggested creating a third party mechanism to monitor the collection of firearms.
IP women in the research were the most outspoken on conflicts related to ancestral domain and land grabbing. According to these women, only the adequate implementation of the Indigenous People's Rights Act (IPRA) and the establishment of mechanisms to address land conflicts will lead to an adequate transition to peace.
"There is a need to work on horizontal security," reiterated Jasmin Nario-Galace, National Coordinator for We Act 1325 during the launch. The peace process mainly focused on the conflict between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government, but to achieve "normalization" and a lasting peace the parties need to look at the other issues that generate conflict within communities.
Isis International is a member of the We Act 1325 network.