Of Respect and Dignity for women
Giant, woman of knowledge and humility, an ENA alumni, fights against the violations of human rights violations, violence against women and against drugs for women and girls.
As a child, Penda Seck Diouf was sensitive to the frequent injustices in her school or neighborhood: "At a very young age I witnessed scenes of injustice at school where children can be victims of violence and violations of their rights... We wouldn't spend a month without hearing women screaming out for help in their homes because they were victims of domestic violence. Also, during her studies in developmental sociology and education, she focused on issues of social injustice, discrimination and documentation techniques related to gender-based violence.
In 1995, Penda Seck Diouf created the association Nénuphar which fights against drugs among women, inspired by the experience of a very close neighbor who had dropped out of college after being introduced to drugs by older people. She still remembers that the reaction of the entourage and family was to respond to a situation of addiction, little known at the time, through beatings, marginalization and rejection.
Her association stands in particular against the violence suffered by women involved in drugs. "A female user is often marginalized, chased out of her home and left on the street, vulnerable, at the mercy of all forms of violence. It is the only organization of its kind in Senegal, because this social problem is still taboo and generally only dealt with in repressive ways. It has been observed that most gender-based violence, especially in the domestic sphere, is rooted in drugs".
Under the banner of her association Nénuphar Penda Seck Diouf was named President of the Monitoring Platform for Peace and Security (Ëtu Jamm), which brought together 50 civil society organizations intervening according to their interest areas, in the mediation for peaceful elections in Senegal, and for the promotion of women's leadership to access decision-making bodies.
Ëtu Jamm is represented in twelve regions of Senegal. This network is a pacification body that cares for women who were victims of violence, specifically through economic and social activities.
"Ëtu Jamm" worked particularly on violence during election periods, receiving women in permanent watch rooms. During the 2019 election period, "Ëtu Jamm" alerted and denounced violence suffered by women, making statements in the media and conveying a report to the authorities.
The network also drew the attention of authorities to the lack of women's presence in high decision-making spheres, as well as at the political level, and to their low representation within the leadership of political parties.
In 1996, the Committee to Combat Violence Against Women (CLVF) was created when Women's organizations teamed up to support and accompany women who were victims of domestic violence following a high-profile news story.
Penda Seck Diouf has been president of CLVF for the past 7 years, which has become essential because of a recurrence of this type of violence. The worst forms of violence take place within the family sphere: pedophilia, rape, incest, assault and battery. The CLVF is present in 12 regions through branches headed by women leaders who receive women and work in synergy with medical and justice services, the local elected officials and the grassroots population. The CLVF is a partner of the Ministry of Women, Family and Child Welfare along with other partners.
Penda Seck Diouf is also the National Coordinator of the women GIF which represents civil society CASC in monitoring gender in the public policies and the Synergy of Civil Society Organizations for the elimination of gender-based violence SYSC. SYSC is a platform with 35 organizations from diverse backgrounds, struggling tirelessly to block the way to gender-based violence both in the private and public sphere.
"Violence cannot build a society, even though there is no society without violence. Gender-based violence is a violation of the fundamental human rights of a person, an affront to dignity and an impediment to equality".