COTABATO CITY—In observing International Women’s Month, the Regional Governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao on Wednesday praised “the venerable women of Mindanao who have long played a pivotal role in fostering their Muslim heritage.”
In his message, Gov. Mujiv S. Hataman said the autonomous regional government is joining the rest of the nation and the world in celebrating Women’s Month, as “the world has always regarded women in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao highly for their grace, courage and resilience.”
“These are the women who, for centuries, have boldly stood by their male counterparts to resist the countless attempts of foreign powers to establish dominion over their homeland. And today, they persist amidst the on-and-off conflicts of our time, and in the everyday struggle that life throws at them,” Hataman noted.
Notable women in ARMM such as Lanao del Sur Gov. Soraya Alonto Adiong, Lanao del Norte Gov. Imelda Quibranza Dimaporo, Deputy House speaker Rep. Bai Sandra Sema, Rep. Ruby Sahali, Anak-Mindanao party-list Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin, Taraka (Lanao del Sur) Mayor Nashiba Areefah Gandamra-Sumagayan, lawyer Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, regional agrarian reform Sec. Amihilda Sangcopan, and Fatmawati Tulawie Salapuddinare are “great examples of leadership and femininity,” he added.
Hataman also paid tribute to all mothers and woman nurses, doctors, scientists, teachers, and workers in ARMM on this special day. “I salute you and your achievements from wherever field of endeavor you hail in the four corners of our beautiful globe,” he said.
The governor also said women themselves “have risen beyond the perception of being helpless victims to adversities, as they have emerged to take on a more meaningful role in society.”
“I would like to take pride in the record number of women who are occupying key posts in the regional government—all very capable women,” he said. “In the same breath, I salute all our women workers in the rank and file of the Autonomous Regional Government, whose contribution to the success of our everyday work is immeasurable.”
“We also take cognizance of all Moro women who are venerated in their respective fields, as they champion causes ranging from education, health and human rights, to securing durable peace in Mindanao.”
Hataman pointed out that while women have become “indispensable in establishing peace, stability and economic and social progress,” he acknowledged that a significant number of women in the region “still remain subjects of repression in varying degrees and forms today, due to illiteracy, displacement, and poverty.”
He expressed ARMM’s commitment to protect women from all forms of abuse, and to enable them to take their rightful place in the society.
“Not only do we recognize their capacity, we promote, at all times, their active involvement and participation in the entire development efforts we do,” Hataman said. “We believe their involvement is indispensable in rooting out some of the lingering problems we face, and this can only be possible if they are empowered and allowed adequate influence.” Ayunan G. Gunting-Al-Hadj
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