Madeleine Devès Senghor

A propos de Madeleine Devès Senghor

Of justice and exemplary work

Géante pionnière dans la construction de l’Afrique indépendante, plasticienne, juriste engagée dans de nombreuses causes en faveur des enfants et contre le viol.Madeleine Devès Senghor est une digne fille de l’époque senghorienne, car elle évoque avec autant d’intérêt ses anciennes fonctions dans la Haute Administration sénégalaise, que son travail de plasticienne éprise de culture, qui l’a accompagnée toute sa vie.

Juriste de formation spécialisée en droit public, elle faisait partie de la première promotion d’étudiants de l’indépendance, en 1961, responsabilisée dès sa sortie de l’université, car destinée à remplacer les fonctionnaires coloniaux sur le départ. « On était la génération de la construction nationale. On se voyait comme des maçons au pied d’un mur et il fallait monter les briques. » 

The difficulties she recounts are those of her personal choices that were influenced by the destiny, personified by her father who was opposed to her pursuing an international career, for fear of seeing his daughter leave for a foreign country which could be violent for a woman.

At the time of the university, Madeleine Devès was already a member of the General Union of Students of West Africa, which gave her an immoderate taste for the associative milieu. She was among the founders of the Association of University Women Graduates (ASFDU). In 1968, when the concept of family planning was not obvious, they created the Association Sénégalaise pour le Bien Être Familial (ASBEF). 

En 1974, avec d’autres collègues, elle fonde l’Association des Juristes Sénégalaises (AJS) qui très tôt, a été un organe phare pour faire évoluer le statut de la femme au Sénégal. Ce sont elles qui ont revendiqué auprès des autorités politiques les modifications des textes de loi dans le sens du renforcement et de la garantie des droits des femmes, mais surtout en droit civil, en droit de la famille, le statut personnel. Elles ont veillé à ce que le Sénégal, en se dotant du Code de la Famille, puisse garantir une égalité des droits. Ces femmes avaient l’ambition de participer à l’organisation du pays. 

Madeleine Devès stays abreast of societal changes and challenged the Association on cases that were close to her heart. For example, when she noticed the sexual exploitation of talibé children who came to beg outside nightclubs, she suggested that the director of child protection come and observe the phenomenon in the field. Also, for two years, she compiled a file on child defilement in order to establish a study of this phenomenon in Senegal, which could help to better understand it. 

Madeleine continue à siéger aux Conseils Consultatifs des différentes organisations. « Tout était à créer à l’époque, mais je continue ».

She continues to carry out missions for SOS Children's Village, of which she is the treasurer.

Along with her professional career and her dense associative activities, she has devoted herself to plastic creation, which takes a big place in her current life. This work, she started as a relaxation then developed in a search for forms and meaning. In using the so-called feminine Senegalese traditional art of sewing, she questions in another way the place of women in society.

Madeleine Devès Senghor
Lawyer

Madeleine Devès Senghor is a worthy daughter of the Senghorian period because she evokes with the same interest her former functions in the Senegalese High Administration and her work as a plastic artist in love with culture, which has accompanied her all her life.

A lawyer with a specialized training in public law, she was part of the first class of of students of the independence, in 1961. This class, which had to replace the colonial civil servants, on leaving, was given responsibility upon leaving the university.

"We were the generation of national construction. We saw ourselves as masons at the foot of a wall and the bricks had to be mounted. »

The difficulties she recounts are those of personal choices that have been influenced by the destiny personified by his father. For the latter opposed that she was make an international career for fear of seeing her daughter go to a violent stranger for a woman.

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