As we celebrate National Women’s Month, we are reminded of how our nation’s women have played an indispensable role in the Philippine peace process. These remarkable women have broken barriers and stereotypes, so to speak, and have been actively involved in virtually all aspects of peacebuilding — from conflict prevention and resolution, to negotiation and signing of agreements, to social healing and reconciliation.

There are indeed a lot of reasons for us to celebrate women’s month.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA), which highlighted the plight of women around the world during situations of armed conflict. The BPFA recognizes the need to protect the rights and preserve the welfare of women, especially in times of armed hostilities, and empowering them to participate in the peacebuilding process.

Moreover, 2020 marks the 20th Anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for the equal and active involvement of women in peace and security. This year, the Philippines is also celebrating the 10th Anniversary of its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (NAPWPS), which embodies our commitment to allow women to be at the forefront of the nation’s peace and security agenda.

As we celebrate all of these milestones, let us give recognition to our women peace workers and advocates. Through their hard work, dedication and leadership, they are helping to heal the wounds of the past, put an end to the decades-long armed conflict in the country, and create an environment where people can reap the benefits of a just and lasting peace.

And finally, to all the women who have stood up against unfair labour practices;

To all the women who have fought for the right to vote, as well as those who have run and served in public office;

To all the women who have opposed all forms of inequality in society;

To all the women who have battled sexual harassment and violence at home and in the workplace;

To all the women who have continued to help build a just, kind and tolerant society;

And to all the women who have helped promote the culture of peace, mutual understanding, healing, reconciliation and unity in our nation,

A heartfelt expression of honor and gratitude to all of you.

On behalf of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, we would like to call on all Filipinos to come together, work hand in hand, and help Make Peace Work for Women.

Happy National Women’s Month to all!