Moro women of today are confronted with socio-cultural and economic challenges. Primarily, they are faced by the situation where the existing socio-cultural practices contradict with that of Islam, the religion that they claim to hold. Those who may be practicing the Faith have been seen to be extreme and at times being scorned by fellow Moros. Even worse, the younger generations are now alien to Islamic Cultural values and practices brought about by lack of information and inappropriate mass education. This in turn create generation gaps among the much older generations who are more aware of Islamic cultural values (but see in the youth the practices quite contradicting their own); and the younger generations who are devoid of Islamic knowledge and perceive the older generation’s concerns are oppressive and backward.
There also exist economic challenges among the Moro populace which in turn affect the lives of Moro women especially those who live in conflict-affected areas. Rampant political and social violence have brought imbalances in their economic lives. They have been deprived of a more stable and peaceful existence in the community—needing to evacuate in times of turmoil and armed conflict. Some Moro women do not just assume roles as wives and mothers. They have become “shock absorbers” in their families; having to tender to the needs of their husbands and their children and at times, even to extended family members who come to their rescue. On the other hand younger generations of Moro women fall prey to more injustices and threats to their cultural values and identity. They are compelled to be employed in overseas jobs that are physically and morally threatening only to find means to financially support their families and help improve their economic lives.
With such disheartening conditions, there is a need for a responsive move that entail to provide interventions to the Moro women who are affected. They need support to be able to overcome their problems, promote their rights and exercise fully their roles as partners of men in nation-building. It is imperative that there is an institution which shall help promote not just the Moro women’s economic conditions, but most importantly their social and cultural state which has to be in line with their true identity.
Hence, Moro Women Development and Cultural Center is created to provide the multifaceted needs of women, especially the Bangsamoro women situated in conflict-affected areas. It shall pave the avenue not only for the women’s personal development but their active involvement in socio-economic and cultural development of the nation.