An online forum on women and violent extremism was held via Zoom on March 24 as part of the celebration of Women’s Month and UN Women’s Day.
The activity was organized by the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) and the Department of Political Science and Center of Local Governance Studies of the College of Arts and Social Sciences.
The forum explored the roles played by women in the continuing rise of violent extremism including the motivations behind their various role-adoptions.
It also aimed to understand the effects of violent extremism on women, especially its interplay with women empowerment, as well as identify policy gaps and women’s programs that could address the present challenges of women in conflict-affected areas.
The forum featured discussants who were from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Pilumbayan, and the University.
Ms. Michelle Espedido of DILG- Region X discussed the National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (NAP-P/CVE). She presented the challenges posed by the continuing threat of violent extremism in the Southern Philippines and the existing PCVE plans, priorities, and interventions, spotlighting the roles and contributions of women.
Ms. Sittie Janine Gamao, a community peace builder and lead convenor of Pilumbayan, an organization striving to empower young women in the Bangsamoro through awareness-raising and knowledge-sharing, presented and discussed the significant role of women on violent extremism in the community level, specifically on the Bangsamoro experience, as actors on opposite ends.
Included in the panel discussion was MSU-IIT’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension and Gender and Development focal person, Dr. Jinky Bornales who talked about how women can be empowered by education and technology.
Dr. Bornales also encouraged the participants towards a holistic, collaborative approach, with an emphasis on technology development and innovation, to help bridge the gender gaps in various dimensions and bring impact to the community.
Sociology expert and Peace Research Coordinator of IPDM, Asst. Prof. Arnold Alamon also shared the results of his research entitled Mapping Violent Extremism Projects after the 2017 Marawi Crisis, wherein a mapping out and synthesis of PCVE/PTVE studies and programs/interventions in the BARMM region were done.
Conflict-sensitive reporting contributes to reconciliation and peacebuilding.
With this conclusion in mind, and driven by the felt need for this to be practiced not only in the journalism profession but also in other occupations and vocations, the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) opens today a three-day course that aims to integrate the concept in communication-related programs.
The Seminar-Workshop on Integrating Conflict-Sensitive Journalism in Communication-Related Programs: The Philosophy and Practice will run from October 24-26 in two venues inside the MSU-IIT campus – the IPDM Kalinaw Hall and the Amphitheater of the College of Education.
It targets around 100 students and 28 teachers from various schools and universities in Region 10 and the cities of Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, and Malaybalay, including Marawi of Lanao del Sur.
IPDM conducts the activity in partnership with the Forum Civil Peace Service or forumZFD.
The forumZFD is an association of various German peace movement and non-profit organizations aimed at creating and strengthening the instruments of civilian conflict resolution by non-violent means.
The forumZFD is supporting the seminar-workshop with a 200,00-peso grant, while MSU-IIT provides the venues and hosts the participants’ three-day stay.
Resource persons for the activity come from the forumZFD and the PECOJON or the Peace and Conflict Journalism Network.
The PECOJON is an international network of journalists and media practitioners, photographers, filmmakers and academicians who develop, promote and implement high quality reporting of conflict, crisis and war.
IPDM officer-in-charge Prof. Mark Anthony J. Torres, PhD, in an interview, lays down the four objectives of the seminar-workshop:
Facilitate learning among communication teachers and students on the philosophy of conflict-sensitive journalism, and the need for integration in the curriculum vis-a-vis media realities;
Recall the role of journalism in empowering people and dealing with issues in Mindanao such as the Bangsamoro peace process and other conflict issues;
Introduce conflict analysis tools for journalistic practice; and
Identify entry points of integration in specific communication subjects.
The seminar-workshop opens with a dialogue on the theory and practice of conflict-sensitive journalism; the role of journalists in providing a peace lens to their reports; and the nuances and differences between conflict-sensitive journalism and peace journalism.
Torres says that at the later part of the three-day activity, “the program will give way to an in-depth training on conflict analysis tools, which can be used by communications teachers in their subjects”.
Earlier in the year, MSU-IIT’s Office of Publication and Information (OPI) and the Department of English holds the lecture, Culture-Sensitive Reporting: the Muslim, the Lumad, and the Media at the CASSalida Theater.
The April 8 lecture was given by Dr. Victorio N. Sugbo of the University of the Philippines-Visayas as part of the conference: Current Issues and Trends in Language and Literature: Globalizing the Local.