In May 2019, there was a massive public outcry after two young Senegalese women, Bineta Camara and Coumba Yade, were raped and murdered. Hundreds of people took to the streets demanding justice and action to combat gender-based violence in Senegal, including changes to the law, which only considered rape a minor offence.
Starting in June 2019, ONE and its partners called for the sexual assault laws in Senegal to be dramatically improved in order to protect women and girls from gender-based violence. The campaign grew quickly through a new petition and partnerships with local groups. We engaged supporters by email, social media, blog posts, and on-the-ground activity — with more than 97,000 people from across the globe joining our calls.
Our efforts have led to a new law that increases the level of punishment of those convicted of rape.
WHAT WE DID
- ONE turned anger into action by starting a campaign to petition the government to change its outdated laws — and over 97,000 people signed it.
- In December 2019, ONE and JGEN Women Global Entrepreneurship — a women’s association that fights against gender-based violence in Senegal — organised a multi-stakeholder meeting with advocates and government representatives.
- We took the petition directly to President Macky Sall. In response, the government announced it would draft a new law to deal with the issue.
- Online, Black Queen and other activists like Eileen Smith shared their stories to break down stigmas and demand change. “Every economy depends on the productivity of the people. But when there is a disease in the system — and yes gender-based violence is a disease — the system will become infected and suffer,” wrote Smith.