Groupe d'Initiatives pour le Progrès Social/West Africa Region (GIPS/WAR)

Groupe d'Initiatives pour le Progrès Social/West Africa Region (GIPS/WAR)

Le Groupe d'Initiatives pour le Progrès Social/WAR
Dakar

GIPS/WAR promotes the economic, social, and cultural development of rural and urban women in Senegal, through training, advocacy campaigns, and counseling.

Partner Focus Areas

Women’s leadership, education, autonomy, and political participation
Ending gender-based violence
Rural women’s economic empowerment and access to land
Food security, health, water, and sanitation

Partnership Highlights

Partner since 2014
Partnered with WLP at the UN Climate Change Conference
Family law reform research and advocacy
Women's leadership and anti-violence against women training
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About GIPS/WAR

Founded in 2004 by a group of women activists in Thiès in central Senegal, GIPS/WAR provides programs that promote women’s leadership, the preservation of the environment, and the financial autonomy of its 300 members. GIPS/WAR focuses on women’s rights with a particular emphasis on issues relating to women’s land rights and sustainable land and water management. GIPS/WAR participates in local and international campaigns to protect the environment. It assists women with land use strategies and farming techniques. And, it conducts trainings for women on leadership and political participation to empower more women to campaign for their economic, civil, and social rights. Since GIPS/WAR joined the WLP partnership in 2014, it has used WLP’s curricula in national and regional leadership workshops, and in its trainings on ending gender-based violence. GIPS/WAR works primarily in French and local languages. 

Senegal 16 Days 2016
A group of women convene in Thies, Senegal, for an event during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.

Recent Accomplishments

  • WLP has enabled GIPS/WAR to build the capacity of more than 7,000 rural women and 200 grassroots community organizations in leadership, advocacy, IT, and advocacy.
  • In 2016, GIPS/WAR participated in the Africa-wide Kilimanjaro Initiative, which brought international attention to rural women’s demands for their rights and a more active role in decision-making on land policies. The women brought global attention to the fact that over 80% of agricultural work on land in Africa is carried out by women, but only 1% is owned by women. In Senegal, women have a duty to cultivate land owned by their male relatives, yet they are frequently denied the right to purchase or inherit much of the land that they farm. GIPS/WAR land rights campaigns have led to approximately 200 rural women receiving permits to own land.
  • GIPS/WAR was a strong advocate for the passage of the Senegalese Gender Parity Law, which required 24 parties and coalitions in Senegal to put forward equal numbers of men and women on their candidate lists. Since the law's adoption by Parliament in 2010, GIPS/WAR has monitored its implementation and worked with other feminist groups to fulfill its mandate.  
GIPS/WAR is identified by its total commitment to the empowerment of rural woman and its ability to adapt effective communication and advocacy tools for different groups.
Fatou Kiné Camara, PhD in Law, Mistress of Conferences

  • GIPS/WAR developed and launched its “World Moves with Women” campaign to raise awareness and mobilize action on issues of sustainable development, women’s access to land, and the role of rural women in fighting climate change. It collaborated with other organizations on the campaign at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, part of the cycle of major UN conferences on climate change.
  • GIPS/WAR worked with the women of Thiaoune to establish a community garden with the use of a restored hydraulic well.
  • GIPS/WAR led a campaign to collect the sum due to the water company to reopen the water supply for Ndiobene women. As a result of the campaign, the running of the water supply has been entrusted to the women, which has had the additional benefit of providing them with income-generating activities.
Julie Cisse Media Photo
GIPS/WAR Executive Director Julie Cissé gives a statement to local media in a village in Senegal.

Organizational Programs and Activities

Women's Leadership and Education

  • GIPS/WAR collaborates with local groups and organizations across Senegal to increase women’s political participation. GIPS/WAR studies women’s role in political parties, the impact of women’s non-participation in decision-making bodies, and the prospects for attaining gender parity in Senegal. GIPS/WAR hosts national and regional Training of Trainers Institutes using WLP’s leadership and political participation curricula. Participants from Senegal come from diverse communities, including Serer, Toucouleur, Diola, and Wolof women. Regional participants have come from Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau. 
  • In collaboration with the organization Africa For Africa (AFA), GIPS/WAR conducts leadership trainings and entrepreneurship skills training for women university students.
  • GIPS/WAR’s Thiès group conducts gender awareness training activities and leadership workshops in Thiès, Pout, Joal-Fadiouth, and Diourbel.
  • GIPS/WAR’s Ziguinchor group raises awareness about women’s rights through community radio programs and grassroots workshops with local women leaders in Ziguinchor, Oussouye, and Kaolack.
  • GIPS/WAR’s Fouta group, which also operates in Boké Dialloubé, Kanel, and Oggo, raises awareness about women’s political participation among local decision makers in town hall meetings with municipal officials, and by conducting home visits with district heads and councilors.

Micro Gardening and Family Farms

  • GIPS/WAR promotes small family gardens and farms as alternative sources of food, and long-term food security for poor families. GIPS/WAR’s vegetable gardens also provide opportunities for supplemental income for women. GIPS/WAR supervises nursery school gardens and community gardens, and helps rural women farmers with techniques for maintaining domestic livestock, including techniques for improving meat quality.

Natural Resources Management

  • GIPS/WAR promotes sustainable land management. It provides training in how to fight land erosion and restore biodiversity. GIPS/WAR helps communities in Thiès manage their wastewater. In Thiaoune, GIPS/WAR has led a soil restoration project with local women to reverse the degradation of the water table. GIPS/WAR engages young children in reforestation projects, and coordinates the irrigation of the newly planted trees. GIPS/WAR campaigns for lower tariffs on the water supplied to school gardens.  
16 Days Campaign Senegal
WLP’s partner in Senegal, GIPS/WAR, organizes events and rallies to correspond with the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign.

About Senegal

  • Population: 15 million
  • Located in Western Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, and Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and The Gambia to the south.
  • Senegal’s economy is driven by mining, construction, tourism, fisheries and agriculture, which are the primary sources of employment in rural areas.
  • Senegal’s civil law system is based on French law, with judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Court
  • Senegal ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and is a signatory of the African Charter of Human and People's Rights. However, Senegalese feminists have been critical of the government's lack of action in enforcing the protocols, conventions, and other texts that have been signed in support of women's rights.
  • Religions: Muslim 95.4% (most adhere to one of the four main Sufi brotherhoods), Christian 4.2%, animist 0.4% 
  • Citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Senegal
  • Seats held by women in national parliament: 42%
  • Labor force: 41.4% female
  • Female literacy: 46.6%
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