Amanasia.org – Realizing that our world has been reshaped by Covid-19 Pandemic, where many of us have to stay at home and rearrange all activity into virtual interactions. In the midst of many states has been struggling in finding medication for Covid-19, ensuring social security reaching the correct beneficiaries, and planning for economic recovery. from many observations done by researchers and media, the rise of extremism, gender-based violence, racial discrimination, and xenophobia interplaying with Covid-19.
In many countries, the propaganda on communism and anti-China rhetoric are stronger against legitimate government. Stigmatization against muslim minority or Rohingya accused of spreading virus happens in SEA. Gender-Based violence is also rising during lock down period, and still have little attention.
Drawing from the first meeting among women peacebuilders via zoom link, on 15 April 2020, where 14 women representatives from Malaysia, Indonesia and thailand shared situation of women during Covid-19, and the dangerous element of hate speech, racism, and xenophobia, etc, we crystallize the need to into a network platform so it can be a home for women peacebuilders to share, update and take some lesson from existing knowledge.
The Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN) through its office in Indonesia, in collaboration with IMAN Research Malaysia and Institute Wanita Berdaya Selangor, jointly created SEA Women Peacebuilders Network. The network is interested to recognize the work of women peacebuilders in SEA as well as to explore the knowledge, wisdom, and good practices working on peacebuilding, conflict resolution and women empowerment.
As a new baby born, we decided to use an online platform to begin our launching by engaging more key actors from practitioners, researchers, policymakers action, to engage them with series of webinar, to response the emerging issues during Covid-19 in related to hateful extremism, by SEA Women Peacebuilders and testing public with brainstorming on what is happening with people in SEA, especially during Covid-19.
To start, we have launched the SEA women peacebuilders Inaugural Regional Summit 2020 by hosting a series of Webinar to understand the situation of SEA under Covid-19. The 1st session on “The Rise of Hateful Extremism: Far-Right Ideologies Pushing Xenophobia in Times of Crisis”, with mostly 2,6K engagement and 5K viewers.
We are excited to look forwards to other topics opening for discussion via webinar and FB live, to tackle some issues such as:
1. ”COVID-19 pandemic: How Governments need to include rise of extremism into disaster management planning”.
2. Gender Based Violence in Patani: The Role of Women Religious Scholars in Responding to Fundamentalism.
3. Domestic Violence.
4. Using COVID-19 as an Excuse to Join the Caliphate
5. Reintegration of Ex-Combatant
6. Breaching the Gaps: A look at Transnational Borders and Security
7. Don’t Forget the Weather – Why Climate Change and Food and Water Security
8. Aceh After Tsunami: Does Syariah Law Implementation Build Sustainable Peace?
In the future, SEA women peacebuilders network will host monthly discussions and engage more policy makers and non-government actors to discuss challenges in SEA, dealing with non-interference of ASEAN and finding some potential solutions.