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.
What we do
Addressing these challenges through human rights education, Equitas is committed to:
- equip community members and the media with knowledge, skills and tools to change mentalities and behaviours, and influence public dialogue on issues of violence against women and civic registration;
- build collaborative partnerships between civil society, local authorities and community leaders to address the empowerment and participation of women, girls and youth through policy dialogue, community forums and community action project;
- strengthen existing national and community networks, and accelerate the implementation of action plans and mechanisms which address violence against women and civic registration;
- disseminate good practices, lessons learned, research findings and capacity-building tools on a regional and national level through trainings, forums and dialogues.
“My name is Aminata. I am 13 years old and I live in Thies. Thanks to this project I obtained my birth certificate and can continue my studies.”
– Aminata, May 2015.
Through our work in Senegal, we have:
- reached out to more than 22,500 women, girls and youth in the communities of Pikine and Thies enabling them to know their rights and participate more in their community.
- contributed to the reduction of violence against women and girls.
- helped sustainably change mentalities and socio-cultural behaviours towards civic registration of births by engaging with community leaders and the media.
- developed a practical and accessible human rights Action Guide (Andandoo) and an advocacy tool for human rights defenders and community members to take action.
Equitas works in Senegal with 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 Strengthening Human Rights Education Globally, funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada (GAC).