Senegal is one of Africa’s most stable democracies and has undergone peaceful elections since 2000. Despite this positive political landscape, Senegal is one of the world’s least developed countries in the world. The economy relies heavily on cash crops and fishing, both of which are vulnerable to climate change. Almost 47% of its population live in poverty and 17% are food insecure. The economic situation of rural women and youth is precarious and the opportunities for economic empowerment weak which require more interventions to include them in capacity building and economic empowerment initiatives.
ASSOCIATION POUR LA PROMOTION DE LA FEMME SÉNÉGALAISE (APROFES)
APROFES supports the socio-economic and cultural development of Senegalese women and their role in decision-making forums. The organization was founded in 1987 by members of a cultural association called “Mag Daan”, who believed that development efforts were failing because they did not consider the needs of women. APROFES’ projects are focused on raising awareness of women’s rights, increasing their social, political and economic representation, enabling their better access to health services, increasing their economic independence and reducing violence against them. Crossroads and APROFES have been partners since 2007 and work together on food security, women’s economic empowerment and women’s and girls’ access to justice.
UNION NATIONALE DES FEMMES COOPÉRATRICES DU SÉNÉGAL (UNFCS)
UNFCS supports women’s economic and social development since its foundation in 1996. Focused mainly on rural communities, they build women’s self-confidence, as well as enable them to acquire specialized skills and master professional techniques, improve their position within the home and increase their income. UNFCS members work mainly on food and cereal processing and soap-making. UNFCS currently reaches more than 15,000 women in 10 regions. The Union and Crossroads work on women’s economic empowerment programs through partnership with the Canadian private sector, Green Beaver and Papillon MDC.
RÉSEAU DES ORGANISATIONS PAYSANNES ET PASTORALES DU SÉNÉGAL (RESOPP)
RESOPP is an union of rural cooperatives whose members work mainly on agriculture and livestock as well as related processing and marketing activities. RESOPP’s mission is to improve, in a supportive and sustainable way, the living conditions of Senegal’s rural populations, through cooperatives that provide efficient and adapted services in production, processing and microfinance. They offer collective support to member cooperatives, reaching more than 30,000 farmers. RESOPP and Crossroads work on women’s and youths’ economic empowerment programs.
This Council, founded in 1995, is a transpartisan NGO which brings together female personalities from various backgrounds, for a greater involvement of women in the consolidation of the democratic process, at both national and local levels, for the strengthening of their access to decision-making processes. It also aims to fight against all forms of gender-based discrimination. Crossroads and COSEF collaborate to strengthen the economic power and political representation of women and increase their leadership as well as that of girls.