Marie Delphine Ndiaye
Of Right and of Law
Marie Delphine Ndiaye comes from a family of nine children. As the daughter of educators, she along with her brothers and sisters received regular schooling up to university level.
In addition, she is a lawyer by training, as well as a tax and commercial expert. She is one of the first women to have embraced this profession in the country.
The commitment of the first Senegalese intellectual women Aminata Sow Fall and Mariama Ba, whom she read a lot, inspired and impressed her.
Above all, the journey through the country of Maïmouna Kane, the first woman Minister of Women's Affairs, when she was in primary school, made her realize that something had to be done for women.
She has been General Secretary of the National Order of Experts of Senegal for the past six years.
This certainly reveals his temperament. "The first way to impose oneself is competence and rigour," she says in a soft voice.
This legal profession, by making her aware of the condition of Senegalese women, pushes her to join the struggle for better social equity.
In terms of commitment, she is on many associative fronts; she was president of the Association of Women Lawyers of Senegal (AJS) for seven years; currently, she is a member of the Cheikh Anta Diop Foundation, whose vocation is to support the University of Dakar in the promotion of excellence; and a member of the board of directors of the Agency for the Development of Social Marketing (ADEMAS), which focuses on family well-being through maternal and child health; and also a member of the National Observatory of Parity.
As a professional, she says she is accustomed to combining it with her busy associative life, as she acquired her citizenship culture at school where volunteering was part of the extracurricular activities; then by joining one of the first women's organizations, the Zonta Club. "I spend the time it takes to volunteer for a community organization. I didn't take on certain responsibilities until my children grew up.
Its first vocation is to work on legal texts within the AJS to make society evolve, to improve the legal status of women and children.
"For example, I played an active role in ensuring tax fairness, because until 2008, Senegalese women, as taxpayers, were not considered heads of households. This meant that she had a number of shares equivalent to that of a single person. This was the subject of a long demand by trade unionists as well as other women like us. »
Marie Delphine Ndiaye remembers with fervor the texts she worked on within this association: texts that discriminate against women, those relating to abortion and the criminalization of rape, women's access to land. She has traveled extensively in Senegal for this last issue with the AJS. It is an advocacy that continues to give women access to this right guaranteed by the constitution, but which is not applied to them, often due to a lack of knowledge on the part of the women themselves. However, rural women are becoming better and better informed thanks to the awareness-raising campaigns. "The women's movement has become much larger and more diverse in terms of social categories. When we have a critical mass, the data will change. »
For her, transmission to young people is very important to get them involved because the stakes will be higher and higher. "The first is that of the empowerment of women, which will liberate them sociologically and socially. "She says she is optimistic in view of the road traveled, because through laws, we are able to stabilize social gains. "A law is only the expression of the popular will at a given moment. "And a change in society takes time.