UN Women, UNODC and OHCHR strive to improve women's access to legal aid in Senegal

Date: Monday, May 13, 2019

Marie Sabara, EVAW Program Officer presents the "Improving access to legal aid for women" project in front of representatives from sister UN agencies, civil society and Government.
Marie Sabara, EVAW Program Officer presents the "Improving access to legal aid for women" project in front of representatives from sister UN agencies, civil society and Government. Photo credit :UN Women Senegal

On May 9th, 2019, UN Women Senegal Program hosted a workshop on the "Improving Access to Legal Aid for Women" project. The objective was to plan the activities to be carried out jointly with UNODC and OHCHR and to determine the implementation, coordination and monitoring methods of the project.

Representatives of UN Women, UNODC and OHCHR–the three UN agencies involved in the project–facilitated the event which was attended by various national stakeholders from the public sector (Ministry of Justice and Minstry of Women and Gender), and from civil society including the Association of Senegalese Women Jurists (AJS) and the Synergy of Civil Society Organizations for the Elimination of GBV (SYSC).

This joint project aiming to enhance access to legal aid and services for women focuses on 3 main components: legislative and policy framework, capacity building, awareness raising and legal empowerment.

UN Women will execute the awareness raising and legal empowerment component. “We plan to go to the most remote communities to enable women to know their rights and help women prisoners and survivors of violence to access appropriate legal services.said Marie Sabara, EVAW (Ending Violence against Women) Program Officer at UN Women Senegal Program.

In Senegal, access to justice is quite limited for women, as the majority has difficulties understanding and using existing legal services. As noted by Penda Seck Diouf, President of the SYSC: “The difficult access to legal aid was a major obstacle to eliminating violence against women. This project is an opportunity for Senegal to advance the EVAW agenda.”  

Building on the comparative advantages of UN Women, UNODC and OHCHR, this project will leverage complementary expertise and experience from the three agencies to meet the expected results.