Controversy in Miss Senegal: “If you are raped it is because you have asked for it” | Africa is not a country | Future Planet



The revelations of the young Ndèye Fatima Dione, miss Senegal 2020, in which she claimed to have been raped at the home of a member of the organizing committee of this beauty contest and the response of the president of said body, Amina Badiane, explaining that she “He had asked for it”, have generated a wave of indignation in this African country that has just tightened the penalties against rape. Women’s associations and dozens of them individually have filed complaints against Balde, reminding her that it is a crime typified in Senegalese law, but so far no legal case has been opened against her.

In mid-November, the young 20-year-old Dione gave an interview to the local media Dakarbuzz in which she revealed that she had been raped in the house of a member of the beauty contest organization and that she was the mother of a five-month-old baby. of said crime. It all started at a party in a hotel, during which a guest at the party began to caress the hand of the young woman, who refused to dance on a table. “You are useless, you do not keep anyone company,” says Dione, who was reproached by Badiane.

Later, already in the house of a member of the committee, the young woman claims to have been raped. Miss Senegal’s mother revealed that a few months later the 20-year-old girl began to complain of discomfort and, after going to the doctor, they detected her pregnancy. For now, Dione has not revealed the identity of the alleged rapist. “On several occasions he has thought about committing suicide,” said his mother.

On several occasions he has thought about committing suicide

Madre de Ndèye Fatima Dione, miss Senegal 2020

A few days after these revelations, the president of the organizing committee of the beauty contest gave a press conference in which she assured that “a rape involves two people (…) if they rape you, it is because you have asked for it. She is of legal age ”, generating an unprecedented wave of indignation in the country, especially among women’s associations. Despite the attempt to rectify Badiane, dozens of complaints have been filed against her for “apology for rape.”

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While the citizen unrest reached social networks with the hashtags #JusticepourFatima, #StopApologieViol, #MeToo or #BalanceTonPorc, the Ladies Club platform launched a petition for the withdrawal of the exploitation license of the Miss Senegal contest to the organizing committee chaired by Badiane, which has collected more than 75,000 signatures in less than a week. Along the same lines, the car distribution company CFAO decided to break its sponsorship agreement with the event.

The Ladies Club platform launched a petition for the withdrawal of the exploitation license of the Miss Senegal contest to the organizing committee chaired by Badiane, which has collected more than 75,000 signatures in less than a week

Rape has been the subject of intense debate in Senegalese society in recent years. A law approved in January 2020 classified this act as a crime and not as a crime, which was what the previous legislation approved in 1999 established. This means that the penalties are toughened, going to a minimum of ten years, and that the limitation period to allow judicial investigations to be carried out in depth and with the provision of DNA tests, if applicable, something that has not happened until now. Under the previous law, sentences could not exceed ten years and, de facto, many cases were closed with six-month sentences amid a general climate of impunity.

Rape has been the subject of intense debate in Senegalese society in recent years. A law passed in January 2020 classified it as a crime and not as a crime

It was the citizen pressure carried out by thousands of women after several consecutive murders that prompted this legal reform. In this sense, 2019 was especially black. In May of that year, 23-year-old Binta Cámara was found strangled in Tambacounda after her murderer tried to rape her. That same week, two other women were murdered in Dakar and Thiés and throughout 2019, more than 1,200 cases of rape and pedophilia were reported, topics that remain taboo in Senegalese society and that, at least until now, used to be covered under a cloak. of silence.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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