Know My Name:Bai Ali Indayla

Urgent Action Fund. For more on Bai Ali’s work, see Know My Name: Bai Ali Indayla


Location: Mindanao, Philippines

WHO: Rose is a Higaonon from Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental province. The Higaonon people are one of the major tribes of the Lumad (indigenous) peoples of Bai Ali Indayla is a Bangsomoro (Moro) activist from the Maguindanaon region, Mindanao, Philippines. Her path to leadership was not an easy one. As a Moro woman growing up in a patriarchal, Muslim society, she always felt “out of the mold” of what a girl was expected to be.

WHAT: A peace process has been ongoing since 1976, and an Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, or ARMM, was established in 1996. However, many indigenous activists have been disappointed with how the ARMM was implemented and governed. High rates of poverty remain, and basic social services are not reaching the Moro communities. This region is rich in natural resources and agricultural land; as a result, clashes between various armed groups, land grabbing conflicts and inter-communal violence continue and contribute to the heavy militarization of Mindanao.

With her role as an activist growing, Bai Ali became the Secretary General of KAWAGIB – Alliance for the Advancement of Moro Human Rights, a position she still holds today. This position brings increased risk, since groups critical of the government’s policy in the region are often branded as threats, even though their work is peaceful. Yet, as the armed conflict between the government and the MILF has intensified, and the list of human rights violations against the Bangsamoro communities grown longer, Bai Ali knows that KAWAGIB’s work is needed more than ever.

WHY: Bai Ali is acutely aware of being a human rights defender as a Moro woman. As such, she has been focusing on the rights of Moro women. KAWAGIB is acting as a secretariat to Khadidja Moro Women organization in Davao City, another organization working for the recognition and empowerment of Moro women.

IN HER OWN WORDS: "The support of my family, friends and the people reached by our organizations is one of the things that inspire me to continue. And for as long as there is still discrimination against women, and oppression of the people, I will continue advocating for the rights of women, children and my community.”

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