“We, as members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, respect human rights. Protecting women and children from all forms of abuses and discrimination is simply protecting their human rights. Letting our grandparents, mothers, sisters, and daughters live their lives free from all forms of violence and discrimination is simply allowing them to exercise their fundamental rights as human beings. “ LTC RAQUEL A VILCHEZ (FA) PA, Chief OAGAD, emphasized to the students of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) Course Class 01-18 during a lecture on National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security (NAPWPS) and Gender-based Violence in Emergencies (GBViE) on 18 July 2018 at CRS, AFP, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
In her lecture, LTC VILCHEZ talked about the four substantive pillars of the NAPWPS and explained how it is linked with the AFP strategy as described in the Development Support and Security Plan (DSSP) Kapayapaan 2017-2022. She expounded that program implementations to achieve the aims of DSSP Kapayapaan should integrate the precepts of women’s security because conflict situations impacts women, men, girls, boys, elderlies and differently abled persons differently due to their differing status and roles in the society.
Citing the 2013 Zamboanga Crisis and Typhoon Haiyan, and the 2017 Marawi Crisis as examples, she explained that conflict situations result to serious violations of women’s human rights and displacement. “When considering interventions, you have to recognize the fact that gender inequalities exist. Otherwise, you will not be able to provide proper interventions. Gender issues, needs and concerns must be an integral part of the planning and programming process.”
The lecture concluded by providing general action points for the security sector based from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)2 in preventing and responding to GBViE. At the individual level, it includes (1) promoting positive, equal and respectful relationships between women and men, girls and boys, in all contexts, (2) challenging aggressive, entitled and dominant constructions of masculinity and subordinate or sexualized constructions of femininity, and (3) referring cases of GBV offenses committed by armed forces or security actors to the GBVRS assigned focal point or chain of Command.
The Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Course is a 240-hour curriculum designed to equip the current and prospective CMO planners and operators with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitude to effectively plan, implement and evaluate PCVE programs. The participants are Officers of the AFP and other Philippine Security Forces including the PNP, BJMP, and the PCG, with backgrounds in CMO, Intelligence and Operations.
1The third generation NAP WPS 2017 – 2022 adopts a broader framing of addressing the situation of women in armed conflict and recognizing their contributions to conflict transformation. It explicitly articulates the incorporation of the gender perspective in the Six-Point Peace and Development Agenda, specifically Agenda 6 that mentions “building a culture of peace and conflict sensitivity”. It interfaces with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017 – 2022 that mentions “continuous implementation of NAPWPS to ensure that women are further enabled and empowered to expand their role in conflict situations.” And lastly, NAPWPS reflects that language of Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 16 which states “the need to promote gender equality and promote peaceful and inclusive societies for all.”
2The Inter-Agency Standing Committee is an inter-agency forum of UN and non-UN humanitarian partners founded in 1992, to strengthen humanitarian assistance.