(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - 17 May 2012 - ARTICLE 19 and the Caucus of Women Leaders of Senegal unveiled two documentaries on May 14 2012 to celebrate the second anniversary of the adoption of the law on equal political representation.
The first documentary produced by the Caucus, highlights the process that led to the adoption of the law and the commitment of all political actors. The second documentary produced by ARTICLE 19 assesses the level of access to information and freedom of expression in relation to the parity and public debate on political representation of women.
Over two hundred people drawn from public and private institutions including the Minister of Women's Affairs, former ministers, members of parliaments, international organisations, diplomatic missions and journalists attended the event held in Dakar.
The law on parity constitutes an integral part of the legal framework of Senegal, one of the most protective and progressive laws on women's rights. But the law remains largely unknown to many people; its ownership is still limited due to stereotypes and prejudices hindering women's empowerment.
In July 2012, parliamentarians will be elected on a basis of the law on parity; all parties or coalitions are required to comply with the legal requirements framework, ushering a significant change in Senegal's history. It is hoped that this new dynamic will offer the opportunity for both men and women to access decision-making bodies while strengthening diversity and ensuring that the needs and concerns of women, particularly those who are vulnerable, are listened to, and addressed.
”ARTICLE 19 supports communities and women leaders to help contribute to changing perceptions and stereotypes on women's role and status. The organisation promotes women accession to decision-making bodies with a view to accelerating the development process and improving their social conditions. For this to be materialised, women's leadership should be reinforced and the public debate on gender issues improved,“ says Fatou Jagne Senghore, ARTICLE 19 Senegal/West Africa Regional Representative.
ARTICLE 19 has drawn the attention towards the intrinsic link between freedom of expression and access to information and the protection of women's rights for many years. Over the next month, and subsequently, ARTICLE 19 and the Caucus of Women Leaders of Senegal will support women leaders competing for the upcoming legislative elections by providing them with practical training on key issues including political communications and improving manifesto development priorities around education, health, violence against women, environment issues and transparency in public affairs. Furthermore, ARTICLE 19 will facilitate their access to media, particularly to community media and social or new media.
This (French-language) documentary is produced by ARTICLE 19, which assesses the levels of freedom of expression and access to information striving towards equal representation of women.