oa Africa Insight - Women in Senegal

Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



This tribute to Senegalese women is part of the work of the famous poet-president Leopold Senghor, which established the small West African country (population 6 million in 1981) as a cultural centre in French West Africa. Women share in maintaining this cultural prestige - distinguished women writers like Mariama Ba and Anita Sow Fall, whose novels have won prizes in Senegal and Europe. There are women professors at the University of Dakar, and other centres of research. Senegal can also boast of being one of the first African countries to establish a rural development agency - Animation Feminine - which emphasizes the role of women. In the twenty-odd years that Senghor ruled Senegal, women were allowed to improve their status considerably. Despite the influence of Islam and its traditional resistance to the education of females, there has been a sharp rise in the number of girls at school.

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