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SENEGAL: Oral Statement of NGOs at the thirteenth session of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Geneva (July, 2015)

Madame Chair,
We Ndéye Maimouna DIENE, Ndeye Astou Syllah and Amy SAKHO, from Senegal,

we present this statement and priority issues discussed in the report prepared by FEMNET Shadow Senegal, Senegalese Association of Jurists (AJS), Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Africa, Association of Disabled Drivers of Senegal (ANMHS) and in collaboration with a dozen organizations of civil society of Senegal.

One issue is identified:

 Rural women/Access to land At the thirteenth session of the CEDAW convention, the Committee recommended that, the Government of Senegal ensure the effective implementation of laws guaranteeing equal rights amongst sexes enabling women exercise and enjoy these laws. However, dispositions of modern laws (cf. Article 15 of the Senegalese Constitution) did not change the status of rural women specially those faced with land tenure.

Although Article 15 of the Senegalese Constitution provides for equal access to land for both men and women, only less than 2 % of women purchase land, 15 % receive grants and 25 % inherit. Rural women represent 52 % of the Senegalese population and constitute 68 % of the labor force (Diouf, 2009). In addition, rural women face lack of access and control of productive resources such as quality seeds, fertilizers, equipment, credit, water resources. They do not bare a family head status. Regarding farm household levels; only 13.4 % of women are heads and they generally have very low incomes. Out of 100 women who are members of organizations and community-based associations, only 27 individually, own a piece of land.

The agribusiness land grabbing phenomenon has impacts on women farmers who progressively become only farm workers. This situation renders land access by women more difficult and complicated. Illiteracy hinders the positioning of women in producer organizations. Indeed, the illiteracy rate remains high and affects 63 % of rural women. Thus, in many producer organizations, women hardly access managerial positions.

The State has an obligation to take measures for effective implementation of the legislative and constitutional guarantees an equal access to land ownership by women considering article 14 of the CEDAW convention. The state needs to reinforce literacy programs in rural areas while taking into account local languages for greater efficiency. We strongly recommend that the current land reform, ensures equal access to land both for men and women.

Thanks for your attention!!!!!!

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