The purpose of this report is to supplement, or “shadow,” the periodic report of the government of Senegal to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during its 26th session. The report has been compiled and written by the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP) and Groupe de recherche femmes et lois au Sénégal (GREFELS).This report discusses issues of rape, domestic violence, femicide, and FGM in the context of Senegal.

The chapter of this book that addresses the situation of Senegal begins with an explication of the legal and political framework – structure of government and sources of law. It then examines reproductive health and rights, and within this section discusses the prevalence, laws and policies to prevent, and additional efforts to prevent FGM. Then it moves on to look at understanding the exercise of reproductive rights – i.e. women’s legal status – such as marriage, divorce and custody laws, as well as the right to physical integrity.

This report discusses the obligations of the Senegalese government in the protection of women and combating practices of violence against women, based on signed and ratified conventions, international law, and the laws of (as well as pointing out the shortcomings) the Constitution of Senegal. This includes issues of forced marriage, customary laws that inhibit divorced women from keeping their homes, the right to education and employment, reproductive/sexual rights, and high instances of domestic violence, marital rape, and FGM.

This study shows the magnitude of violence against women in regions of Senegal and, above all, its general acceptance in public opinion. Beating one’s wife, one’s child, or anyone with whom one has petty or serious disputes is considered “normal.” The report recommend programs aimed at sensitising the general public, particularly women, young people, and government officials.

The objective of this study is to analyse the tensions between conceptualizations about Islam, women's sexual health and rights in Senegal. Sexual rights are defined here as the right to choose a partner, the right to enjoy sex without fear of violence or disease, and the right to physical integrity. These rights are examined through legal, Islamic and International frameworks in the context of their relevance to Senegal. The general population's, and Ulamas', positions, attitudes and behaviours about these rights were collected through interviews and focus group discussions.

Au Sénégal, les femmes et les fillettes en situation de handicap sont, tous les jours, confrontées à des violences physiques et sexuelles (sévices physiques, viols, mariages précoces et forcés, rejet ou viol par le conjoint,…) et des abus psychologiques (préjugés, mépris, insultes, rejet,…). Leur handicap les expose quotidiennement à des préjugés culturels qui prennent diverses formes, tout au long de leur vie. 

This book is a report on the prevalence of female circumcision and female genital mutilation (FC/FGM) and on the use of law and policy to address these practices. This work places FC/FGM firmly within a human rights and legal framework, although it does recognise and address the challenges inherent to this discourse. The authors look at the history of FC/FGM; its consequences for women’s health; the reasons used to justify it – i.e. culture, control over women’s sexuality, tradition, interpretation of religious directives; and the history of movement’s working to combat it.

En cette année où le Forum Social Mondial, pour la 3e fois après le Mali en 2006 et le Kenya en 2007, se joint aux peuples d’Afrique, nous les femmes de différentes parties du monde, réunies à Dakar, conscientes que l’union de nos forces pourra à terme apporter un changement, réaffirmons notre solidarité et notre admiration pour les luttes des femmes sénégalaises, des femmes africaines et des femmes du monde. Leurs luttes, conjointement avec les luttes de tous, hommes et femmes, renforcent la résistance menée partout contre le système capitaliste et patriarcal mondialisé.

Women’s inheritance and property rights (Panel 1) 

Countering the use of culture to dispossess women through the cultural legitimation of women's rights

8 Feb 2011: 12.30 – 15.30. 

The multi-country network on Women's Inheritance and Property Rights (WIPR) is organising three panels at the WSF. This network is part of the three-year programme Women Reclaiming and Re-defining Culture, coordinated by Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) and the Institute for Women’s Empowerment (IWE). 

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