Poverty is widespread in Senegal, where
nearly two-thirds of the population lives on less than
two dollars a day. Health care is somewhat better than
in surrounding countries, but far from adequate.
Public health is better in cities than in rural
areas, and most doctors work in Dakar. About half the
rural population lacks clean water, which leads to the
spread of parasitic diseases and diarrhea. Around twenty
children died before the age of one year. Malaria,
tuberculosis and measles kill many lives. It is common
for young children to die from diarrhea or pneumonia.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Senegal, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
However, the AIDS epidemic has been fought with some
success and Senegal is often cited as a positive example
of AIDS prevention work. According to the UN agency
Unaids, between half and one percent of the population
between the ages of 15 and 49 are HIV infected. Brake
medicines are heavily subsidized by the state.
The social insurance system looks good in theory,
with subsidized healthcare, maternity leave, child
benefits and pensions. In practice, few residents have
access to the benefits, as most people lack formal
employment. Social networks are therefore important,
both within the extended family and through groups for
local development that especially women and young people
form in both villages and vulnerable neighborhoods.
The situation of children and women
Child labor is common to bring families' finances
together. This applies primarily to work such as maids,
street vendors, shoe polishers, or in family farming.
Tens of thousands of children in Koran schools are
used by their teachers to beg on the streets instead of
studying. The old custom of exploiting poor students in
this way was banned in 2010 after pressure from the
outside world, but the phenomenon is still common (see
There is a long way to go for equality between women
and men, although the development is progressing. Only
two out of three women are employed. In the 2012
election, the proportion of female parliamentarians
increased from a quarter to just over 40 percent. An
increasing number of women are also appointed to high
positions in the state administration.
Traditionally, rural work is divided between the
sexes. During the dry season, young men clean the soil
and prepare for sowing. When the rainy season comes, it
is the women's job to clean and harvest. The women also
take care of most of the housework and take care of the
children. In modern times, significantly more men than
women have left the countryside to seek work in the
cities, which has resulted in women more often taking
full care of the economy and all agricultural
Polygamy is common, and it is then that men have
several wives. Especially in the countryside,
traditional laws are often applied that disadvantage
women in, for example, inheritance issues. Violence
against women is widespread, especially in marriage. At
the same time, the issue is increasingly attracted by
human rights and women's organizations.
About a fifth of women are estimated to have
previously been subjected to genital mutilation, which
often causes severe suffering. Female circumcision was
banned in law in 1999. Thanks to information and
attitude changes, genital mutilation is reported a few
years into the 2000s almost ceased in Senegal.
Homosexuality has been banned since 1965, but the law
has not previously been widely applied. In Dakar there
used to be a high tolerance, and the homosexuals were a
visible group, especially among wolof, even though they
offended more traditional Muslims.
Gradually, society has become increasingly
conservative and attitudes towards homosexuals have
hardened considerably in recent years. President Wade's
government (2000–2012) said that "homosexuality is
Several homosexuals have been arrested, and in 2009,
nine men were sentenced to eight years in prison for
homosexuality and for being part of a "criminal
organization". The latter was in practice interpreted as
a criminalization of support work for HIV-positive and
AIDS-sick homosexuals. The men were released in higher
court after a few months, but many gay Senegalese
perceived the verdict as a clear signal, and many have
chosen to leave the country.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
32 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.4 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
75.2 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
51.5 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
4.0 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 53 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
42 percent (2018)
- PDS backs Wade's candidacy in the 2012 presidential election. Only three
members of the party's board oppose the candidacy, including former Prime
Minister Idrissa Seck, who re-joined the party in 2009.
Criticism against the new chairman of the Constitutional Council
The Opposition Socialist Party (PS) criticizes the appointment of a Wade ally
as chairman of the Constitutional Council, which is the body to decide whether
it is compatible with the constitution for Wade to stand for re-election in the
2012 presidential election.
France withdraws troops
France begins to withdraw its troops from Senegal.
New agreement to slow down desertification
Senegal and ten other countries sign an agreement to create a "green wall"
through the Sahel, that is, the border region between the Sahara desert and the
more fertile tracts south. Trees are to be planted along the more than 700-mile
stretch from Senegal to Djibouti on the African East Coast, to slow down
Military bases are left
France leaves its military bases in Senegal (see Foreign Policy and Defense).
Disputed statue is inaugurated for the 50th anniversary of the country's
A controversial 49 meter high statue is officially inaugurated in Dakar, to
celebrate the 50th anniversary of the country's independence. Muslim leaders
believe that the statue is contrary to Islam. Others think the $ 27 million cost
is too high. Many people are critical of the project being carried out by a
North Korean company, as North Korea is a dictatorship.