Accepted paper:

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"? Analysing the developmental outcomes of the Senegalese Parity Law


Rama Dieng (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

The objectives of this paper are two-fold: it provides i) A comparative analysis of the relative success of the 2010 Senegalese parity law with the 2018 sponsorship measure which eliminated all women and younger presidential candidates; and ii) an assessment of the Developmental Outcomes of the Law based on interviews and a desk review of the relevant policy and academic literature.

Paper long abstract:

In Senegal, the 2010 gender parity law represented a major turning point in that it mandated political parties to apply gender equality for elective positions. This major law allows Senegal to rank 4th in the ranking of African countries , and 12th at the World level. Senegal aspires to become "an emerging country with a society of solidarity in a state of law, without discrimination, where men and women will have the same opportunities to participate in its development and enjoy the benefits of its growth." However, the effects of the parity law on the quality of the social contract is yet to be assessed. In addition, none of the women candidates to the 2019 presidentials passed through the meshes of the net of the 2018 sponsorships measure which requires declared candidates to gather at least 53,000 signatures from Senegalese voters to be able to validate their candidacy. Voters excluded not only women, but also young candidates. This article analyses comparatively the role played by the "Caucus des femmes leaders" for the adoption of the Parity Law, and the reasons for the lack of sponsorship of women presidential candidates. Moreover, this article critically assesses the socio-economic outcomes of the gender parity law in Senegal. This question is crucial at the light of the 2035 prospective national vision survey which finds that citizens are primarily concerned with food, health, housing, employment and education more than good governance. This article is based on semi-structured interviews including with a former female presidential candidate and a review of the academic and policy literature.

panel B2
Just add women? The developmental impact of opening up politics to women [paper]