The Philippine National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security
UN Security Council Resolutions
On October 31, 2000, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved UNSCR 1325 which called for the adoption of a gender perspective that included the special needs of women and girls during repatriation and resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction. UNSCR was the first formal and legal document from the United Nations Security Council that required parties in a conflict to respect women's rights and to support their participation in peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction.
UNSCR 1325 promotes and protects the rights of women and girls in armed conflict situation in terms of the following key commitments:
1. Participation of women in all levels of decision-making;
2. Gender-perspective in Secretary-General Reports and Security Council Missions;
3. Protection of and Respect for human rights of women and girls;
4. Gender-perspective in conflict processes; and
5. Gender perspective in peacekeeping.
In furtherance of UNSCR Resolution 1325, UNSCR 1820 was adopted in June 2008 to address the issue of widespread and systematic sexual violence in armed conflict. This resolution demands all parties to armed conflict to immediately cease from committing sexual violence against civilians, and to take appropriate measures to protect women and girls.
In September 2009, UN Security Council passed UNSCR 1888 which appointed a Special Representative to provide coherent leadership on combating sexual violence. UNSCR 1889, adopted in the same year, called for immediate measures to ensure the physical safety and security of women. It further called for a wide range of measures to strengthen the participation of women at all stages of peace processes, mainstream gender perspectives and end impunity.
The Philippine Policy Environment
The National Action Plan will operate within a strongly supportive Philippine policy environment.
Chapter 9 of the Philippine Development Plan for 2010 to 2016 affirms the Philippine Government’s commitment to UNSCR 1325, 1820, 1888, and 1889. Its Section 2F states a commitment to “support the implementation of UNSCR 1325, which entails close collaboration with the CSOs to fully comply with the government’s commitment to increase participation of women in peace process and address sexual violence against women in armed conflict situations.”
Republic Act (RA) No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) provide specific provisions increasing women’s participation in armed conflict. In addition, there is the RA 9851 or the International Humanitarian Law, RA 9745 or the Anti-Torture Law, and RA 7610 or Anti-Child Abuse Act.
The Formulation of the NAP on UNSCR 1325 and 1820
NAP began as an initiative of NGOs led by Sulong CARHRIHL and the International Women’s Tribune Center (IWTC). They then called on the support of the Philippine Commission on Women or PCW (then called the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women), and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to take the lead in implementing UNSCRs 1325 and 1820.
A series of nationwide consultations from March 2009 to October 2009 were undertaken to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive plan. The NAP was finalized in March 2010.
The NAP, as a product of a collaborative process between government and civil society organizations, provides a reference point for assessing the government’s compliance with its commitment to implement UNSCRs 1325, 1380 and 1820. It is a practical and operational tool for women directly affected by armed conflict who would like to take a proactive role in holding the government and the parties to armed conflict accountable for their actions. For women and civil society actors, the NAP affirms the government’s commitment to and accountability in ensuring the security of women and girls during armed conflict, and in enhancing their active and direct participation in conflict prevention, post-conflict rehabilitation and other peace-building efforts.
The women and men who facilitated the NAP’s formulation collectively affirm the primacy of peace and nonviolence in achieving a just and gender-responsive society, where every Filipino woman is empowered as a peace-builder, enjoys her human rights, and is safe from gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.
It is hoped that NAP will transform the situation of women from being victims into becoming agents and builders of peace in their respective communities and in the country.
The Philippine National Action Plan
The National Action Plan (NAP) is the Philippine Government’s response to the three landmark international normative standards on women, peace and security, namely, 1325 (2000) or the Women, Peace and Security, 1820 (2008) on Addressing the Issue of Widespread or Systematic Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, and 1888 (2009) on the Designation for a Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Ending Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict.
The NAP is anchored on the Magna Carta of Women (MCW), particularly those provisions relating to peace and development. As a product of the collaborative efforts of women civil society groups and government, the Magna Carta of Women embodies the rights enshrined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). It also seeks to strengthen other gender-related laws that have been passed like the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act (Republic Act 7877), Rape Victims Assistance Act (Republic Act 8505) and Violence Against Women and their Children Act (Republic Act 9262), among others. The MCW also mandates the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Pertinent provisions of the MCW are incorporated in the NAP as indicators and expected outputs.
A government body was created through Executive Order (EO) 865 to implement, monitor and evaluation the provisions of the NAP. The National Steering Committee on Women, Peace and Security (NSCWPS) to Implement UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 is composed of the following agencies: a) Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP) – Chairperson; b) Chairperson – Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) – Vice-Chairperson; and the Secretaries/Chairpersons of the following agencies and members: c) National Defense; d) Social Welfare and Development; e) Justice; f) Interior and Local Government; g) Foreign Affairs; h) National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP); and i) National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).
Adopted in 2010, this six-year plan (2010-2016) has four interrelated and complimentary purposes with corresponding outcomes, indicators, time frames and key implementers. The purposes and details of the NAP are briefly described as follows:
1. PROTECTION AND PREVENTION: To ensure the protection of women’s human rights and prevention of violation of these rights in armed conflict and post-conflict situations.
This section of the NAP will focus on protecting and upholding the rights of women and girls in the context of armed conflict. Specifically, it will address the actual situations of women and girls on the ground and provide them with a comprehensive assistance package toward healing and empowerment, e.g. provision of basic social services, including legal and livelihood support. Initiatives indicated in this section will be implemented in partnership with the local government units (LGUs), related government agencies and other local stakeholders, including civil society organizations (CSOs) through policy and programs development and implementation, among others. Popularization and capacity building of various stakeholders on related local and international laws such as the UN-CEDAW, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and policies on women, peace and security and the Magna Carta on Women, will also be undertaken to ensure that women and girls’ rights will be protected and upheld.
2. EMPOWERMENT AND PARTICIPATION: To empower women and ensure their active and meaningful participation in areas of peace-building, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction.
This will ensure women’s full participation in all aspects of peace-building, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. It will entail the establishment of enabling mechanism and environment as well as adopting affirmative actions that will accelerate women’s full participation in all peace efforts. Through policy reforms and program modifications, it is expected that more and more women will actively be involved and equally participating in peace and security structures, processes and mechanisms both at the national and local levels. Local existing structures, such as the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, Barangay Human Rights Center, etc. will also be revitalized, modified and strengthened to ensure that women’s agenda are mainstreamed and properly taken care of. Reforms on the traditionally male-dominated security organizations, e.g. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other related training and academic institutions, will also be introduced and undertaken to facilitate women’s active participation in the peace and security reforms.
3. PROMOTION AND MAINSTREAMING: To promote and mainstream gender perspectives in all aspects of conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
It will ensure that gender perspective is mainstreamed in all peace and security efforts. Gender-responsiveness and sensitivity will be the core messages and content of all intervention packages. It will provide as well as open avenues wherein gender can be integrated in the current peace and security setting with the end view of making women as key partners in attaining and maintaining peace. Changing cultural biases, perceptions, attitude and behaviors as well eliminating gender discrimination and stereotyping will be the primary intent of this section. Hence, media (radio, television and print), academic and training institutions, etc. will play a crucial role in the attainment of this purpose. Developing champions and advocates, exploring resources as well as formulating ‘how to guides’ to make sure that women’s and girls’ concerns are properly addressed and considered in all peace efforts will be highlighted in the section.
4. CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AND MONITORING AND REPORTING: To institutionalize a system to monitor, evaluate and report on the implementation of the NAP in order to enhance accountability for successful implementation and the achievement of its goals.
It will ensure that the content of this NAP is properly and efficient implemented in the spirit of transparency, accountability and good governance. With the leadership of the National Steering Committee on Women, Peace and Security (NSCWPS), it is hoped that good practices on women, peace and security will be evolved, developed and identified to guarantee sustainability and institutionalization. Systems for monitoring and evaluation as well as sex-disaggregated databases are expected to be developed and fully operationalized under this category.
OPAPP will exercise general oversight of the NAP. There will be close coordination with other agencies such as PCW, NCIP, DILG, the ARMM government, other agencies that have mandate over the outcomes/indicators in the NAP, concerned LGUs, as well as the members of the NAP Steering Committee through EO 865.Civil society organizations (CSOs) will be tapped for coordination and monitoring. They are not precluded from developing their own actions to implement the NAP.
To track and account for the progress of implementation of the NAP, monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes will be established. Progress on the NAP’s implementation will be reported periodically to the Office of the President and the Philippine Congress, as well as international bodies.
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