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Solemn Dec. Report-Senegal

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Solemn Dec. Report-Senegal Powered By Docstoc
					                                REPUBLIC OF SENEGAL
                                Un Peuple - Un But - Une Foi




                                           Year 2006




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I. INTRODUCTION


Immediately after the 3rd ordinary session of the Heads of State and Government
of the African Union, on July 2004, and the 7th African Regional Conference on
Women, held on Addis Ababa on October 2004, the renewed commitments to
mainstreaming gender into the development programmes to which our country
has subscribed have become Government priorities on the fields of equality,
equity and women’s empowerment.

The different aspects of this commitment, through the Solemn Declaration on
gender equality on Africa, translated on Senegal, on the one hand by the
establishment of an adequate legislative and legal system:

     the strong political will of the State, reflected on the unreserved ratification,
      on 1985, of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
      Discrimination against Women,
     the ratification of the additional protocol to CEDAW by the law of June 10,
      2000,
     the ratification of the protocol to the African Charter on Human and
      Peoples’ Rights relating to women’s rights, by the law of December 2, 2004,
     Article 7 of the preamble of the 2001 New Constitution guarantees gender
      equity and equality on access to land ownership and land property,
      education, employment, and the determination of the wage and taxation,
      provided for on Articles 15 – 22 and 25, respectively,
     The Family Code takes into account our constitution which not only poses
      the principle of equality of all individuals before the law, but adds that on
      case of violation of the principle of gender equality, abatement of the act
      that caused it is the normal sanction.

On the other hand, at the institutional level, the following structures and
mechanisms have been put on place by the Ministry on charge of Women and the
Family:
   Directorate of the Family,
   National Women’s Consultative Committee,
   Women’s credit scheme,
   Gender capacity building project,
   National Women’s Assistance and Training Centre - Centre National
     d’Assistance et de Formation pour la Femme - with branches at the
     department level,
   Poverty control projects that support women’s economic and social
     empowerment (AFDS, PLCP and PAREP).

As part of the implementation of the 10-year family and social development plan,
reforms are underway to support women’s empowerment through the setting up
of a National Directorate of Gender Equity and Equality, an Observatory of
Women’s and Children’s rights, and monitoring tools such as IDISA and other
indicators.




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Besides, the President of the Republic has decided to designate the Association of
Women Lawyers on Senegal – Association des Femmes Juristes du Sénégal (AFJS)
as Consultative Association attached to the President of the Republic.

As part of the implementation of the Government’s commitments, examples of
actions conducted by the abovementioned structures include:

      The institutionalisation of women’s national fortnight and the Grand Prix du
       Chef de l’Etat pour la promotion de la femme sénégalaise – Grand Prix of the
       Head of State for the promotion of the Senegalese woman (Decree 90-269 of
       March 10, 1980 and Order no. 01434/MDS/CAB of November 13, 1989
       amended on 1991 and 1998). These two major events selected as animation
       and awareness raising theme for the 2006 edition “Stop violence against
       women and girls”;

      The Government played a key role on facilitating the emergence of
       independent organisations that help impulse women’s promotion by
       contributing to the mobilisation of resources for the implementation of the
       National Action Plan for Women - Plan d’Action National pour la Femme
       (PANAF). It is on this account that a National Strategy for Gender
       Equality and Equity - Stratégie nationale pour l’Egalité et l’Equité de
       Genre (SNEEG) was developed for 2005-2015, on order to enable the
       authorities to reassert their commitments to building a Senegal where there
       is no discrimination, where all men and women will have the same
       opportunities to contribute to development and to enjoy, on the same
       capacity, the benefits of this development;

      The Ministry on charge of Women, the Family and Social Development has
       developed and implemented a large training programme aimed at preparing
       the political and administrative authorities as regards the integration of
       gender into development policies, programmes and projects.

Still on the consolidation of gender promotion actions, the Ministry on charge of
Gender Issues, on connexion with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, has put
on place a Gender and Budget Task Force that reflects on the practical details of
mainstreaming the care and gender economy on macroeconomics.

This was translated into the holding of levelling workshops on the cross-cutting
integration of gender into national and local budgets, the actual integration of
gender into the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the gender analysis
of the PRSP indicators.

On the same vein, the reflection initiated on having the woman wage-earner cover
the medical expenses of her spouse and children, as well as on the issue of equal
tax treatment for men and women, has lead to conclusions already submitted to
the Government for final validation.

On addition, several programmes and projects to fight poverty are operational.

These programmes and projects make works and infrastructures, and put on
place capacity building actions and income generating activities that promote
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access of poor communities and vulnerable groups, on particular women and
girls, to basic social services.

Adding to this are the fruitful efforts made by the Government of Senegal (40% of
the national budget) for the integration of gender through girls enrolment and
retention on school; which made it possible to record, once again, an enrolment
rate on beginner’s courses higher for girls than boys.

All these actions eloquently translate the government’s efforts to update, on the
context of Senegal, the commitments related to the Solemn Declaration on gender
equality on Africa.

On order to measure the progress made on managing its related issues, the
approach adopted on this report states, for its commitment, the baseline
situation, the measures taken, the social and cultural constraints and, if
necessary, the initiatives deployed to overcome them.

II. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COMMITMENTS

    2.1. Combating HIV/AIDS and other related infectious diseases:

On the legal point of view, the National Assembly of Senegal is on the verge of
putting on its agenda the review and implementation of the law on discrimination
against people living with HIV/AIDS, the protection of women and girls against
rapes and all other forms of violence, and the criminalisation of the voluntary
transmission of HIV.

On the institutional point of view, the Government of Senegal has put on place
a National Aids Control Plan involving all ministries, local governments,
grassroots communities, Civil Society and NGOs. Each ministry has a sector-
based plan to implement following a partnership approach.

As regards the health coverage of women, the elderly and girls with disabilities,
some of the progress noted is worth highlighting.

On this account, the mother-to-child transmission of AIDS has decreased from
30% to 5%.

The care and social services targeting the vulnerable groups become more
accessible thanks to the existence of 80 decentralised voluntary screening
centres, and the free provision of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) for all HIV-positive
or AIDS-affected women.

A political will was also affirmed as regards access of HIV-positive people to
employment and income-generating activities. This is illustrated by the
funding, to the tune of CFAF 10,000,000, disbursed under the Women’s Credit
Scheme - Projet Crédit des Femmes (PCF) for solidarity actions towards HIV-
positive women living on interior regions of the country, on order to assist them
on developing income-generating activities.



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The Poverty Reduction Support Project has provided for a CFAF 150,000,000
support fund for people living with HIV/AIDS. A project selection seminar was
held but no project has been selected yet. The Associations include people of both
sexes.

Besides, the prevention of malaria among pregnant women has recorded a quite
significant rate of distribution of treated bed nets, rising from 22% to 42%.

To this should be added, on the one hand, the free coverage of caesareans and
child deliveries, the free treatment of pregnant women suffering from malaria, as
well as the development of basic obstetric care and emergency obstetric care.
Maternal mortality rate has decreased from 510 per 1000 to 434 per 1000. Free
care for women suffering from obstetric fistulas is also a recent decision of the
Head of State. To the effect of preventing fistulas, this measure is accompanied by
a decision to impose more severe judicial sanctions to those responsible for early
marriages of girls.

On terms of constraints, it is worth noting the lack of a clear policy of access to
treatments and resources for HIV-positive women.

The availability of a budget line on 2007 should help increase the assistance to
this vulnerable group.

       2.2. Women’s participation and representation on peace processes:

On the case of the conflict on Casamance, many women’s associations mobilised
for a definite return to peace on this area. As a result, the following actions can
be cited, among others:

       women’s marches on Casamance;
       women’s prayers on the sacred woods;
       the activities of celebration of the centenary of the town of Ziguinchor ;
       strengthening the peace-building capacities of Casamance women
        associations’ leaders by the Agence du Fonds de Développement Social –
        Social development Fund Agency (AFDS);
       women’s participation on peace negotiations.

       2.3. The implementation of support programmes for the rehabilitation
            of child soldiers and resource allocations to the specific needs of
            women and girls:

Senegal has a whole range of legal means to protect children from armed
conflicts, traffic, etc. However, for the Casamance conflict, the Government and
its social partners have put on place socioeconomic programmes including:
     the special programme of reconstruction and revival of the economy on
       Casamance, conducted by ANRAC (Agence Nationale de Relance des
       Activités en Casamance) ;
     the mine awareness and education programme;
     a support programme for mine victims.

       2.4. Violence against women
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To fight this violence, women on Senegal have on the one hand a legal and
repressive mechanism, and on the other hand, socioeconomic measures to
protect them.

As regards the legal mechanism, women on Senegal have a legal and repressive
framework aimed at protecting them, on perfect harmony with the ratified
CEDAW.

However, this mechanism has revealed inadequate or inappropriate at times, to
meet the legitimate needs of women. It is on this context that should be placed
the Law no. 99-05 of January 19, 1999 modifying certain provisions of the
criminal code, which represses female circumcision, sexual harassment, and
domestic violence. This Act also represses more severely the assaults causing
bodily harm to a woman, especially on case of rape.

The 2001 new constitution rejects all forms of injustice, inequalities and
discrimination against women.

On the basis of this new constitution and through the criminal code and various
texts, women are given special protection under criminal law.

Physical violence which includes, among others, assaults causing bodily harm,
abortion, female circumcision, murders, assassinations, is increasingly decried
nowadays and repressed by legislations such as the Criminal code on its articles
294, 295,296, 297, 305, 299.

Female genital mutilations have been a major issue on Senegal, but today,
thanks to the real commitment of the Government, to large-scale information and
awareness campaigns through a National Action Plan for the abandonment of
Female Genital Mutilations - Plan d’Action National pour l’Abandon des
Mutilations Génitales Féminines, to the dynamism of Civil Society
organisations and sustained support from development partners, the effective
enforcement of the related article 299 has become reality on our country.

The overall strategy of this plan was based on an approach that gives more
importance to research, community-based awareness raising, advocacy,
education, training and structural change.

Of note is also the joint declaration on the circumcision of girls, adopted on 1997
by WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA, which advocates an interdisciplinary approach of
the issue.

Protection against sexual abuses: sexual abuses such as rape, indecent
assault, act of exposure, incest, procuring, incitement to moral corruption and
sexual harassment are repressed by articles 302, 322, 320, 318, 321, 322, 323,
324, 319 bis of the Senegalese criminal code. At this very level, while the question
of enforcement of the legislation is irrelevant, it is still true that, for social and
cultural reasons, the submission of cases before the authorities by the victims or
their relatives is oftentimes a hindrance to the legal procedure.


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Protection against harm done to the family: moral and physical neglect,
financial neglect, adultery, bigamy and forced marriage are punished by articles
350, 330, 329, 333, 300 of the criminal code.

Article 300 on forced marriage is reasserted by Article 18 of the January 2001
new constitution.

Outraged by the survival of the phenomenon, the Head of State recently gave firm
instructions to the administrative and legal authorities to repress all cases of
forced and/or early marriages noted throughout the country.

On terms of socioeconomic measures, education, awareness raising and
training remain the movers of change, for fighting violence against women, or
even, achieving equity and equality of the rights of women and men.

On Senegal, with the consensual and participatory implementation with civil
society and all institutional, technical, financial and social partners of two action
plans for women, from 1982 to 2001, as well as the recent development of a
national Strategy for gender equity and equality, significant progress on the
aforementioned areas could be noted.

Thus, as regards women’s education and training, significant progress have been
made at all levels, be it girls’ schooling and retention, or their channelling to
scientific and technical courses of study, or girls’ literacy training or technical
capacity building.

Economically, special measures have made it possible on the one hand to
increase women’s access to inputs and financial resources, and on the other
hand, to build their organisation and management capacities.

For example, the poverty control projects under the supervision of the Ministry of
Women, the Family and Social Development, have invested 20 billion and 823
million CFA francs on capacity building, microfinance and the realisation of
socio-communal infrastructure and equipment, with absolute priority to women’s
concerns, on terms of training, micro-credit, equipment to alleviate their
workload, and building of socioeducational centres.

The Women’s Credit Scheme, as for it, has injected some 2 billion and 886 million
CFA francs on income generating activities for women, individually or on
association. For the year 2006, the funding projections under this scheme are
one and a half billion, excluding other public or private funding sources (fund for
women’s entrepreneurship, economic promotion fund, decentralised financial
systems or banks).

The programme for the alleviation of women’s work has made it possible to equip
women with miscellaneous materials, for an amount of CFA F 4,357,991,595
between 2000 and 2005.

Adding to this is the project of establishment of the Observatory of the Rights of
Women and Children - Observatoire des Droits de la Femme et de l’Enfant
at the level of the Ministry.
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It will focus on the effective implementation of the commitments made by Senegal
through all international conferences and the international legal instruments
relating to the rights of women and early childhood.

Upon the initiative of the Senegalese Head of State, His Excellency Mr.
Abdoulaye Wade, community-based infrastructures called Centres d’assistance
et de formation pour la Femme (Assistance and training centres for Women) are
being progressively put on place since 2003 and make it possible to lead frontal
and integrated attacks to the issues of access of women to information, promotion
and protection of their fundamental rights.

To that end, the programme for the establishment of the National Centre for
Assistance and Training of Women - Centre National d’Assistance et de
Formation pour la Femme (CENAF) and the Departmental Centres (CEDAF)
is aimed at developing actions on view of raising the level of knowledge of women
on the field of health prevention, ensuring their technical training to initiate them
to income generating activities, and providing them with advisory support on legal
matters.


    2.5. Concerning the implementation of the principle of gender equality


The implementation of the principle of gender equality is not yet effective, even
though it is worth underlining the effectiveness of the political will of the
Government as well as women’s commitment. The national Strategy for Gender
Equality and Equity - Stratégie nationale pour l’Egalité et l’Equité de Genre
(SNEEG) should enable the authorities, for the 2007-2016 period, to reaffirm
their commitment to building a Senegal where there is no discrimination, where
all men and women will have equal opportunities to benefit from and contribute
to its development.

To achieve this goal, public authorities on Senegal have taken a number of steps,
particularly on women’s access to management and decision bodies. Currently,
on Senegal, women hold positions they have never held since independence:

         Current government: 9 women ministers out of 40, including 1 Minister
          of State, that is, 22.5%
         Advisors to the President of the Republic: 20% of women;
         Advisors to the Prime Minister: 26% de femmes
         National Assembly: 23 women members of Parliament out of 120, that
          is,19%
         Conseil de la République pour les Affaires Economiques et Sociales :
          31 women over 110, that is, 28% of women
         Judicial authorities: 15% of high-level management positions are held by
          women
         Ambassadors: 3 women out of 35
         Territorial Command: 1 women deputy-governor, 1 woman Prefect, 1
          woman deputy-Prefect, for a potential of 101 positions on governances
          and prefectures


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             Regional Councils : 470 regional advisors including 61 women, that is,
              14,5 %; one woman Chair of the Regional Council over 11 is noted
             City councils: 1133 women out of 4216 Advisors, that is, 27% and 6
              women mayors out of 103, that is, 5,8%
             Rural Councils: 9092 advisors, including 1043 women, that is, 11,3%,
              with one woman Chair of Rural Council
             Village leadership: out of 14 000 villages, 3 are led by women.

Military and paramilitary bodies hitherto the preserve of men, are now open to
women, as from this year. This is the case with the Gendarmerie and the
Customs.

On the field of social protection, the major innovation for the implementation of
gender equality is the double initiative of the Government to legislate:

    -       the coverage of the medical expenses of the spouse and children by the
            wage-earning woman;
    -       the equal tax treatment of men and women.

2.6.        As regards the promotion and of women and girls’ human rights:

On the field of promotion and protection of the human rights of women and girls,
Senegal has completed the ratification of all international and regional
conventions and instruments:

   The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
    Women (CEDAW), unreservedly ratified on February 5, 1985, enforced on
    March 5, 1985;
   The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
    Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), ratified on June 10, 2000
   The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1981)
   The protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights relating to
    women’s rights, adopted in Maputo in July 2003 and that has just come into
    force in November 2005
   The African Charter on the Right and Well Being of Children (1990)
   The Children’s Rights Convention (1990)

Awareness of the actors on charge of enforcing the said rights lies essentially on
the formulation and organisation of training modules, increasingly integrated on
Schools training programmes (example: the Ecole Nationale d’Administration on
Dakar).

What is more, a proximity work is conducted with the advisory bodies and the
Association of Women Lawyers on Senegal - Association des Juristes sénégalaises
on the production of texts and laws on favour of the implementation of Gender.

2.7.        As regards the enforcement and strengthening of women’s rights to
            access land, property and inheritance




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The Senegalese Constitution recognises and ensures women’s access to land and
property. Article 15 paragraph 2 states: “man and woman equally shall have the
right to land ownership and property, on the conditions set by the law.”

Strong advocacy actions are constantly conducted by the Minister of Women, the
Family and Social Development, targeting the Mayors and Presidents of Rural
Communities for effective enforcement of the provisions contained on the
Constitution relatively to women’s access to land.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Women has just conceived a Community
Interest Area project - Projet de Périmètres d’Intérêt Communautaire aimed at
facilitating women’s access to land, with the Department ensuring financial and
material support for the development of these lands.

On another note, within the framework of the reform of land right on Senegal, the
Head of State has insisted that the women’s associations should be represented
on the technical committees, to ensure the mainstreaming of women concerns.
The same holds under the new Agro-Sylvo-Pastoral law and the Plan de Retour
vers l’Agriculture - Back to agriculture plan or REVA - initiated on 2006, all of
which give a special place to women on access to land.

On matters relating to property and inheritance, the Family Code has provided for
legal regimes compatible with religious practices (community of property or
separation of property, women’s right to inheritance, etc).


2.8.   Regarding the specific measures aimed at ensuring girls’ education
       and women’s literacy training


On order to achieve the universal schooling goal, Senegal has focused on the girl
target. The actions undertaken can be summed up to access, retention and
performance. On 2005, the gross enrolment rate of girls has increased from
72.3% (on 2003) to 80.6%. Senegal is not far from the goal of equality between
boys and girls on basic education. The proportion of girls on the numbers
enrolled was estimated at 48.3% on 2004.

Among the institutional mechanisms set up to accompany the process of
motivating girls, one should note the establishment of the Female leadership
support fund - Fonds d’appui au leadership féminin, with which emerging
initiatives of young girls are supported and introductory sessions to ICTs are
organised, etc.


2.9.   Concerning the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on
       Human and Peoples’ Rights relating to the rights of women on Africa

Senegal has ratified, on November 2004, the Protocol to the African Charter on
Human and Peoples’ Rights relating to the rights of women, adopted on Maputo
on July 2003, and enforced on November 2005.


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CONCLUSION

The Government of Senegal, faithful to its international commitments, spares no
effort to gradually achieve increasingly appreciable results on all areas.

Despite the tough nature of certain constraints that are deeply rooted on the
customs and traditions, one can note a real political will of the Head of State and
the Government and an unequalled keen interest of women’s associations which
recorded significant progress on gender equity and equality since the coming to
power of the President of the Republic, Mr. Abdoulaye Wade.




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