In the Philippines, members of the YWL program have seized the opportunity to increase the meaningful involvement of young women, LGBTQIA+ youth, and male gender equality allies in political decision-making and peace processes. Creating a national youth-led movement for progressive social transformation, YW+PL members mobilized over 1500 local young people through community-focused youth discussions on the link between informed voting, political participation, and the accountability to international human rights law for elected government representatives. In addition, by developing and implementing an effective media and social media strategy, YW+PL members have been able to bring the voices of young women and LGBTQIA+ leaders advocating for gender equality, women’s rights, and sustainable peace to general Filipino audiences and a broader global online community.
Support to Peace Agreement Implementation and Ongoing Peace Processes
To prevent the deterioration of fragile peace in their communities, YWL members organized community youth peacebuilding dialogues. These peacebuilding dialogues raised awareness of important elements of the peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, that could lead to the effective implementation of the WPS and YPS resolutions. Through community youth peacebuilding dialogues, the youth leaders mobilized over 1,752 local youth and other stakeholders to discuss gender equality, women’s rights, human rights, sustainable peace, and how the impact of the pandemic on these issues. These dialogues successfully raised awareness of the importance of the effective implementation of the WPS and YPS resolutions. They also strengthened young voices to advocate for human-rights-based, young women-led approaches to conflict prevention and resolution and countering violent extremism.
Countering Fake News and Disinformation
In the Philippines, YWL members delivered social media campaigns focused on the 25th anniversary of the BPFA, the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325, and the 5th anniversary of UNSCR 2250. To mark these important occasions, they launched the campaign #IHaveMySay which raised awareness of the WPS and YPS resolutions and highlighted young peacebuilders’ roles in their implementation. The campaign emphasized the priorities for building peace and achieving gender equality for local young women in the Philippines. In addition, the YWL members organized another social media campaign titled “10 Ways to Be a Peaceful Digital Citizen” to promote inclusive and safe online spaces and counter fake news, disinformation, and misinformation about women’s rights, the peace processes, and the COVID-19 pandemic. As a part of the campaign, participants organized Facebook Live conversations amongst YWL members from different parts of the country to share tips on maintaining safe online advocacy spaces for activists and aspiring peacebuilders creating and maintaining safe online spaces.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted marginalization, discrimination, sexual and gender-based violence and insecurity experienced by women, young women, and girls across the world. In numerous countries, there are reports of increased incidence of early, forced, and child marriage as a result of disrupted education of young women and girls and increasing financial insecurity in many families. In response, Young Women Leaders for Peace (YWL) members from the Philippines mobilized to meet the urgent, often overlooked needs of women, girls, and other historically marginalized groups in government emergency response programs. They distributed relief goods, face masks, hygiene products, and school supplies to over one thousand women and girls and their families reaching 10 conflict-affected communities in the region. They also raised awareness of the gendered impacts of the pandemic by discussing the increase in sexual and gender-based violence including child, early and forced marriage, and teenage pregnancies in their communities.
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© 2020, Young Women Leaders in the Philippines distributing dignity kits in response to COVID-19 outbreak
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