Dakar, 30 June 2021 | The celebration of the Generation Equality Campaign served as a framework to bring together different stakeholders who nurture the vision of a strong and united Senegalese women’s movement. The VLF-Senegal Project, in partnership with the UN Women office in Senegal, organised a meeting on Tuesday 29 June at the “Place du Souvenir” in Dakar with women’s civil society organisations (CSOs) to enable them to contribute to discussions, decision-making and to draw up a roadmap for future actions.
Twenty-five years after the Beijing Declaration, the Generation Equality Forum, whose events were postponed due to the Covid-19 health crisis, is being celebrated around the world. Launched in 2020, the Forum’s mission is to review and evaluate the 25th review of the Beijing Platform and Platform for Action. In Senegal, state and international institutions, non-governmental organisations for the promotion of women’s and girls’ rights as well as networks of women’s civil society organisations all mobilised for the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Beijing, this Tuesday 29 June 2021 in Dakar, on the eve of the Paris conference, scheduled for 30 June to 2 July 2021.
The ceremony was opened by Mariama Touré Diop, CSO/F representative, who gave the floor to the different stakeholders.
For Woré Ndiaye Kandji, Head of the Voice and Leadership of Women (VLF) Project in Senegal, implemented by CECI and financed by the Government of Canada, there are three levers on which to rely: “Through the VLF Senegal Project, we intend to address the issues of gender-based violence through three entry points institutional strengthening of civil society organisations, technical and financial support for the improvement of women’s conditions in communities, but also through strong advocacy at the level of decision-makers. ”
According to her, the three coalitions of action to which Senegal has committed itself are very important for a real improvement in the condition of women and girls.
For Dieynaba Wane Ndiaye, UN Women Senegal Country Programme Coordinator, “UN Women is in coalition with the VLF Senegal Project to capitalise on the contribution of civil society organisations, and to come up with an action plan for Senegal on the three coalitions of action selected by the State; namely the fight against violence against women and girls, empowerment and economic justice, and finally technologies and innovations for equality between women and men. Thanks to the inventory and the action plan that we are going to draw up, we will support the government in taking concrete action to improve the conditions of women and girls.
The issue of genital mutilation and early marriage was also on the agenda. Hyacinthe Coly, Executive Secretary of the Youth Network for the Promotion of the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage, said: “As a youth organisation, we work in the fight against violence against women or gender-based violence and this is what justifies our response to the call from UN Women and the VLF Project. The struggle we are waging today can only be carried out with perfect synergy and the Generation Equality Forum offers us the opportunity to build relationships, share experiences, discuss new perspectives, innovative approaches and actions to be implemented in the next five years with partners and other organisations to enforce women’s leadership and rights in Senegal and in the world.
The meeting, which also allowed the different organisations to coordinate their online participation in the Forum, was attended by more than 150 people, including members of CSOs/F and networks of CSOs/F partners and non-partners of the VLF-Senegal project as well as UN Women, state authorities, etc.
After the plenary discussions, a roadmap was drawn up by the various participants in the meeting. Among the actions that are envisaged we can mention :
- Take up the challenge of gender representation in decision-making bodies by committing to the policy;
- The establishment and strengthening of structures for the management of gender-based violence (GBV) in all areas of the country;
- Increasing women’s leadership and entrepreneurship through innovative and inclusive financing;
- The promotion of women’s equal access to resource management;
- Training and capacity building in ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies), through the establishment of a digital literacy platform in national and official languages;