The Regional Working Group on Gender (RWGG) was created during the 1999 Regional Partners’ Meeting held in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The RWGG is then mandated to spearhead the following:
■ Increase gender awareness among tdh Germany partners in SEA
■ Find ways to mainstream gender in tdh Germany-supported projects and partner networks
■ Monitor developments on gender issues and disseminate these to partners;
■ Plan common projects promoting gender sensitivity and gender equity.
After its creation, several milestones were achieved at different levels in each country. Since the inception of the gender working group in 1997, it considered the following as its achievements:
■ Gender Sensitivity Training Workshops were conducted for tdh Germany partners in several countries: Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Detailed documentations of these training workshops are available in English.
■ Regional Training Workshop on Gender Planning and Monitoring Indicators was done for country focal points, selected partners, and regional coordination staff on 26-30 May 2003 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Project evaluations from a gender perspective were conducted by female evaluators in 6 countries, namely, Santi Sena in Cambodia; Community Development Support in Don Duong District, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam; Hilltribes Area Development Foundation in Thailand; Taman Kebajikan/KKSP in Indonesia; Fahwiang project in the Thai-Burma border; and the Bathaluman Crisis Center Foundation in the Philippines.
The evaluations were able to identify the different initiatives of the different tdh Germany partners in mainstreaming gender in their specific work as developmental organizations. Specific recommendations were carried out in the following meetings of the gender working group. These are as follows:
1) Further gender integration in projects;
2) Systematic data-gathering on women’s health, diversity and development;
3) Increase capacity of women to implement livelihood projects; and
4) Take part in the campaign on Globalization, Children’s Rights and biodiversity, and ensure that it takes on a gender perspective
Participation in the International Conference on Gender, Conflict and Development
Members of the RWGG joined the International Conference on Gender, Conflict and Development held in Davao from 20-23 October 2008.
Conference’s objectives are:
To highlight wealth of knowledge on gender issues in armed conflict in South Asia and Southeast Asia
To share gender-sensitive and women-centered tools, strategies, methodologies and framework in conducting research on armed conflict and in preventing, managing and resolving conflict
To facilitate networking and weave culture through the conference
To present the role of international and development assistance in conflict prevention, management and resolution and in peace building
“In Search of Peace and Development: Women Hold Half the Ground” was the theme of the Conference on Gender, Conflict and Development which was spearheaded by the Mindanao Working Group on Gender (MWGG). The conference was a three-day conference that was participated by sixty-five individuals from Burma, Cambodia, Bangladesh, United States of America (USA), Indonesia, Timor Leste, Nepal, Dhaka, Thailand, Korea, and the Philippines to witness the presentations of researches from thirty-five speakers from Indonesia, Dhaka, Timor Leste, Thailand, Korea, and Nepal. Thirty (30) Representatives from different schools also came to observe, including those from the Ateneo de Davao University where the conference was held. Also, members of the Mindanao Working Group on Gender also came to witness and to participate aside from organizing the event itself.
The conference was aimed to equip academicians, civil society organizations, non-government organization (NGO) workers, community and grassroots leaders, researchers and development workers, related to Gender and Development, new skills and methodologies in dealing with gender issues and handling conflict situations. Also, this is a venue for them to acquire the knowledge to prevent, manage and resolve conflict regarding gender, and a networking arena for these organizations, institutions, and individuals for the promotion of gender development.
To achieve these objectives, topics on Gender and/or Women were discussed at the beginning of the conference to direct the flow of the discussion, heading onto conflicts and development in the context of Asia. From Asia, the context was narrowed down to more particular contexts such as those in armed conflict and women in Mindanao. With all the present issues concerning gender, solutions to resolving it were also presented, starting off with conflict management based on studies in Cebu, Bangladesh and East Timor, as well as those in Mindanao. Even a model of community radio was presented, suggesting that even the airwaves are crucial for resolving conflict regarding gender.
Ultimately, as found and suggested in the different researches presented, gender issues and gender development must be mainstreamed, and what better way to do it than maximizing the multimedia arts, establishing its desks in the government, instituting it in the academe, and training NGO workers and other individuals.
Regional Learning Exchange on Gender (RLEG)
In addition, during the Regional Learning Exchange on Gender (RLEG) workshop held among RWGG members in Mae Sot, Thailand, in November 2009 it was agreed that the group members would develop an appropriate monitoring tool on CEDAW implementation in each country. The RLEG aimed to:
· Gain appreciation on CEDAW as an international instrument for the protection and monitoring of women’s rights
· Sharing and assessment of CEDAW monitoring among members of Regional Working Group on Gender
· Develop appropriate tools for monitoring CEDAW
· Provide recommendations to the tdh Germany policy paper on gender
· Sharing of experiences in the 16 day campaign against domestic violence and corporal punishment
· Come up with plans for the RWGG for the next two years