WARC: Women as Members of Parliament
A roundtable on the new publication :
La 12e Législature au Sénégal: Les Premières Héritières de la Loi sur la Parité
Senegalese women members of parliament (deputees) rallied at the West African Research Center in the late afternoon of Thursday, September 19 for the launch of the latest publication of le Caucus pour la Parité (Women’s Caucus for Gender Parity in Senegal) entitled: “La 12e Législature au Sénégal: Les Premières Héritières de la Loi sur la Parité”
The author, Fatou Sow, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Gender Research Unit at IFAN-UCAD, explained that the idea of the brochure was prompted by a remark made to her by a gentleman while she was visiting parliamentarians in an African country. The political leader told her that it was nice to have so many women elected in parliament in Senegal but he lamented the fact that 90 per cent of them were illiterate. According to Fatou Sow, that is when she decided to write the profiles of all the women parliamentarians currently in office in Senegal to give the lie to such a misguided and unfortunate statement. And, indeed, as the booklet amply demonstrates, all the women sitting in parliament hold jobs in the formal or informal sectors and are absolutely proficient in European and/or Senegalese languages.
Chairing the panel discussion, the speaker of the day, was Moustapha Niasse, president of the Senegalese national assembly, who underscored the high quality work and contributions of current women parliamentarians. He also disclosed that by the end of December 2013, the National Assembly will be fully equipped for simultaneous translation, which will allow each member to take the floor and speak in his or her own language, be it Wolof, Pulaar, Joola, or Serer. Translation in the other Senegalese languages and in French will be automatically provided. This will be a major milestone in efforts to conduct official business in national languages and give voice to the voiceless.
The event was closed with a reception offered to the 123 attendees in the gardens of the West African Research Center.