Senegalese Strongly Support Equal Chance for Women to Be Elected to Public Office

President Macky Sall (file photo).
12 October 2018

Dakar, Senegal — Partisan preferences aside, having a woman as mayor of their capital city - a historic first - should suit Senegalese citizens just fine: most of them say women should have the same chance as men to be elected to public office.

According to Afrobarometer's most recent national survey, more than three-fourths of Senegalese, and almost nine out of 10 Senegalese women, support equal opportunity at the ballot box.

Dakar recently got its first female mayor since Senegal's independence in 1960 when Soham El Wardini, a former deputy mayor, was chosen to replace Khalifa Sall, who has been imprisoned on charges of fraudulent use of public funds.

Key findings:

  • More than three-fourths (78%) of Senegalese say women should have the same chance of being elected to public office as men, including 62% who agree "very strongly" with this view.
  • Support for an equal chance for women has increased by 14 percentage points since 2013, from 64% to 78%.
  • While both genders overwhelmingly agree that women should have an equal shot at being elected, women are still more likely than men to favour equality (87% vs. 69%). Respondents with some education are also more likely to agree than those with no formal education.
  • Support for equality varies by region; in Dakar, it is right at the national average of 78%.%).

Survey background

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in Africa. Six rounds of surveys were conducted in up to 37 Africans countries between 1999 and 2015, and Round 7 surveys are being completed in 2018. Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent's choice with nationally representative samples.

The Afrobarometer team in Senegal, led by Carrefour d'Etudes et de Recherches - Actions pour la Démocratie et le Développement (CERADD), interviewed 1,200 adult Senegalese in December 2017. A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. Previous surveys have been conducted in Senegal in 2002, 2005, 2008, 2013, and 2014.

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