Senegal: The Life of a Woman in Prison

In 2019, Senegal’s prison headcount was greater than 11,500. Of those prisoners, 2.7% were women. How do Senegalese prisons address the specific needs of female prisoners? We have endeavoured to answer this question through a visit to Liberté VI Women’s Prison.

Senegal has ratified and included a good number of principles pertaining to the protection of female prisoners in its normative framework. The Agora Group for Research on Education on the Rights of the Child and Peace (Le Groupe Agora de recherches pour l’éducation aux droits de l’enfant et à la paix, GRA-REDEP) is campaigning to implement the principle of protection of imprisoned women from all forms of discrimination and gender-based violence. It was to this end that the association visited Liberté VI Women’s Prison in December 2020. More than a quarter of Senegal’s female prisoners are held in this facility.

Gaspard Onokoko is an activist and researcher who is active in the field of human rights. As president of GRA-REDEP, he assists in the preparation of prison visit reports and has followed observations and recommendations based on the visit to Liberté VI. Prison Insider asked him three questions.

We sought to gain the trust of the prisoners. We apprised them of the importance of our visit and collected their testimonials.

The profiles of imprisoned women shed light on the gender problems that persist in Senegalese society.

We have reported the lack of consideration of the special situation of breastfeeding and pregnant prisoners, and those with children.