Swift passage of Maguindanao ‘gender code’ seen PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 13:50

Men were more emphatic than women in endorsing the proposed Maguindanao provincial gender and development code during a public hearing on Monday.

Two members of the provincial board, Asnawi Sinsuat Limbona, and Russman Sinsuat, Jr. both said they were amazed with how men representing different government offices, and cause-oriented groups forcefully manifested support to the enactment of the code.

The multi-sectoral consultation on the gender code, held on Monday in Buluan town in the second district of Maguindanao, was jointly presided over by Limbona and Sinsuat.

The code aims to protect women in the province, regardless of religion and tribal identities, from exploitation, human trafficking, pornography, political and religious persecution.

Members of the provincial board, which is chaired by Maguindanao Vice Gov. Lester Sinsuat, are confident the code would be enacted into a provincial law after the Ramadhan fasting season.

The Ramadhan, a holy month in Islam, started on June 29, and will last until the third week of July, depending on the sighting of the new moon based on the Islamic Hijrah calendar.

Board Member Bobby Katambak said Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu is looking forward to the approval, after procedural deliberations, of the proposed gender code by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

The code will provide equal protection to women in Maguindanao’s Moro, Christian and highland indigenous communities, according to Katambak.

The draft code also has provisions on marriage and family relations, right of Muslim women to wear hijab (head cover), on health services, and on sectoral concerns. The code is also focused on security of women and children in armed conflicts.

“This proposed code will not just protect our women from injustice and marginalization, but empower them as well,” said Engineer Abdulwahab Tunga, the provincial administrator.