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- Le Monde Selon les Femmes

Version: 1.0
(mai, 2008)

The role of women in a rural environment

A disadvantaged group…

In Senegal women are used on mass as a tactic in social mobilisation operations. Their participation shows that they are often at the heart of the action. However, their dynamism is scarcely translated into real participation in decision-making processes. Their limited level of education is often used as a reason for their exclusion. However in rural areas men who occupy decision-making positions are often not much better off in terms of education.

Women are very active in the rural economy, yet they are often blocked by obstacles which hinder their development such as illiteracy, lack of knowledge of their rights, inherited cultural prejudices (often strengthened by the women’s own belief in them).

The National Network of Rural Women in Senegal

The women of the Yakaar Niani Wulli Federation are members of the National Network of Rural Women in Senegal (Réseau National des Femmes Rurales du Sénégal – RNFRS). The RNFRS groups together 135 grassroots organisations and 15 organisations in 11 regions of Senegal. Up until now the network has been working on building capacities of grassroots women’s organisations through information and training: in particular on communicating for better access for women to land, and to decision-making circles. This network is supported by the FAO project.

“Capacity-building for the women of the YNW Federation” programme

In 2008, the Federation set up a 3-year programme on “Capacity-building for rural women on citizenship and advocacy”.

It involves village awareness-raising workshops on the rights and responsibilities of women within their family farm, the Federation, and the rural community.

This capacity-building programme also integrates the simplification of housework through the acquisition of millet mills. This should free up a little of the women’s time so that they can participate more in training and develop income-generating activities.

There are plans to build the women’s capacities in terms of their income-generating activities through technical and organisational training, and through putting in place working capital (micro-finance). This programme is supported by Le Monde Selon les Femmes.