Stories: Senegal

  • Women are taking charge in Senegal’s growing tech industry

    On a balmy evening in Dakar, seven young women were gathered in the basement of a local university, not far from the city’s Monument of African Renaissance statue. Lit by the white glow of a projector screen, they tapped eagerly at laptops as the speakers covered everything from how to market your business on Instagram, to designing a...

  • Jaha Dukureh: ‘Don’t sensationalise FGM survivors’

    When Jaha Dukureh was a week old, she survived female genital mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia. When she was 15 years old, she was forced into marriage and sent to New York to be with her husband. On her wedding night, she was cut again to allow for the consummation of the marriage. The second procedure is common for women...

  • ‘I Don’t Go Out During the Day’: Inside Senegal’s LGBT Crackdown

    DAKAR, Senegal—Watching as dusk falls on the dusty streets of this city, Marie, a 27-year-old trans woman, explains that she only leaves her house after sunset. “I don’t go out during the day,” she says, flicking back her long red hair. “Only at night. I don’t even want to open my...

  • A Weapon Doesn’t Know The Difference Between Father And A Son

    On the war “It started around 1981/2. The people here wanted independence because the government was not interested in Casamance. This is how it started. I was displaced from my village.  My house was burnt by rebels. I lost everything. I was separated from my children for a month. It was horrible. There was only pain. Just pain. ...

  • For Senegal island’s residents, famed slavery heritage site incurs a cost

    Each day, Deguène Gaye watches the ferry chug in from the mainland, disgorging a herd of sunburned tourists onto Gorée Island’s white-sand beaches. From there, she knows, they’ll probably trace a familiar itinerary, following their guides somberly past a memorial to the transatlantic slave trade and then to the famous House of...

  • The women and girls in Senegal pushing through the tech industry’s gender barriers

    The first time Binta Coudy Dé left Senegal was in 2011, when the then 22-year-old computer engineer was invited to participate in a tech competition organised by Microsoft in New York. Amongst the groups from all around the world participating in the competition, Dé’s group from Senegal was the only all-female team. “We knew that...

  • In Senegal, family planning finds a key ally: imams

    The mosque loudspeaker crackles to life, just as it does five times a day, every day, in this quiet village just outside the Senegalese capital, Dakar. But instead of the typical melodious call to prayer, the voice booming from the minaret is all business. “If you are interested in learning about your family-planning options, please come to the health...

  • In push to end FGM, local women offer influential message

    It was the biggest party Aminata Mané had ever been to, a riot of colorful dresses and exuberant dancing. There were enough fluffy piles of rice and roasted sheep’s meat for the entire village to eat until their stomachs hurt – and it was all to celebrate her. But Mrs. Mané, who was 11 at the...

  • IRP Group Trip to Senegal

    The International Reporting Project (IRP) hosted a group reporting trip focusing on gender, human rights and civil society issues in Senegal in November 2017. About Senegal Senegal, one of Africa’s most prosperous and democratic countries, has enjoyed an economic boom since the late 1990s, primarily reliant on agriculture. Political stability, religious tolerance and rich culture bind...

  • Lesbians in Senegal just want a place where they can be themselves

    It is not easy to find gay women in Senegal. Homosexuality is illegal in the country, though several small LGBT rights groups operate there. But because they were founded during the AIDS crisis and considered as actors in keeping down HIV infection rates, they are focused on men. Lesbian women are now starting to fight for recognition, both in the...