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A new leadership is emerging to encourage the participation of women, girls and youth in Senegal. Our work focuses on enabling community members to know their rights, take action to reduce violence, advance gender equality and reinforce the respect for human rights.

Violence against women and girls, limited access to civic registration and entrenched discriminatory attitudes represent major barriers to participation of women, girls and youth to community life in Senegal.

Studies have shown that 70% of women have been victim of physical and/or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime (UN Women). Sexist stereotypes against women and girls are still prevalent and conveyed in the media and public life.

The multifaceted forms of violence suffered by women and girls prevent them from freely expressing their point of view and participate in decision-making in the private and public spheres.

Statistics also reveal that more than ¼ of births is not registered in Senegal, which constitutes an obstacle to girls’ and boys’ school attendance and a major barrier to their right to education.

Despite existing laws and efforts made by the State — with the help of civil society organizations and other partners — to address these problems, strategies deployed to solve these issues have not produced significant result.   


Advancing Equality through Human Rights Education in Senegal


The ultimate goal of the Advancing Equality project is to increase the empowerment of women and girls to advance gender equality. In Senegal, reaching this goal implies creating a safer educational environments, supporting active participation of girls, contributing to their long-term empowerment and leading to the adoption of more favourable and egalitarian social norms.


The situation today


In Senegal, many efforts are being made to protect people’s basic human rights. Yet inequalities exist, especially for women and girls :

  • 24% of children are subjected to severe physical punishment
  • 31% of Senegalese girls are married before age 18
  • 37% of women are less educated than men


Our approach


The Project adopts a participatory approach to advance gender equality that includes:

Knowledge and capacity-building

  • Training on human rights and gender equality
  • Community initiatives and forums


  • Awareness-raising campaigns
  • Support to networks and coalitions

Engagement with decision-makers

  • Training on human rights and gender equality
  • Community initiatives and forums
  • Carrying out joint actions

Program leaflet

Learn more about our work in Senegal

The planning and implementation of the Advancing Equality through Human Rights Education program is done in cooperation with the target communities in Senegal. Thus, community members have been consulted and have themselves outlined the most pressing gender equality issues in their communities through data collection conducted by Equitas and its local partners during the baseline study. The data collected were subsequently shared back to the communities and validated by them as truly reflecting the issues they had raised. Through human rights education, Equitas will provide them the tools and skills needed to achieve the desired change.

Our partners

Equitas works in Senegal with the Rencontre africaine pour la défense de droits de l’Homme (RADDHO), Réseau Equitas Sénégal pour l’éducation aux droits humains (RESEDHU) and the Comité de lutte contre les violences faites aux femmes (CLVF) – and with government and civil society organizations.

Our work in Senegal is part of the Advancing Equality through Human Rights Education project, funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada (GAC).



Keep updated on the latest news on our work in Senegal.


Read our stories – such as the story of Fatimata Sy – which demonstrate how Equitas helps train human rights defenders and community members to change attitudes, behaviours and influence public dialogue to address violence against women and civic registration.


Discover tools, tips and resources to take action.


Marie-Pierre Arseneault
Program Officer, Equitas
514-954-0382 #239

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Human rights education ignites community solutions that lead to change.
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