THE EARTH TIMES
SEPTEMBER 10, 1995
Empowering women goal for Senegal
By Ashali Varma
Beijing China: Maymouna Diop is a delegate from Senegal and represents her country in the Group of 77 and the African Group at the Fourth World Conference on Women. Her country’s priorities at Beijing and the issues that are critical for African nations— are what have made her come here.
Diop said “We recognize that if you want a woman to have empowerment, advancement and contribute to sustained economic growth, she should have equal access to power and the decision making process at all levels, particularly at the rural level,” Diop said in an interview with The Earth Times yesterday.
As director of the Legal and Consular Department in Senegal’s Foreign Ministry, Diop also spoke of the importance of women having equal access to land and property as well as credit.
“Women have to be treated equally and with dignity, which means eradication of violence and poverty, because poverty leads to degradation of the human spirit,” said Diop.
On the wording of the Platform For Action, Diop thought it was really strong and yet took into consideration the diversity of women in society. She said that each country should try to put forward its best efforts to come to a consensus. Negotiations have also to bear in mind that on some sensitive issues it won’t be surprising if certain countries have reservations on wording but she hoped it would be done without coming in the way of a consensus.
Speaking for Senegal and the African Group she said, “Our position is that as far as Africa is concerned we believe that although governments should take the responsibility for the implementation of the Platform for Action, we also have to look at the critical economic situation of this region. It is clear that without a strong commitment from the international community the full implementation of the Platform will be very difficult.” Africa’s economic difficulties she said, are due to structural adjustment programs, the burden of debt and exclusion from international markets.