In eastern Senegal, the Bala community in the Tambacounda region is one of the most disadvantaged in the country. Here, women generally have not had much say in budget allocation to public services such as education. In addition, they had little awareness of their rights.
“The place of women in Bala, as in many societies here, was perceived to only be at home to nurture the children,” says El Hadji Moussa Sarr, project officer for the TaxEd Alliance at Action Aid Senegal.
Change through learning
However, some women in the community started questioning the system around public services and wanted to understand how things are supposed to function.
After meeting these women, the TaxEd Alliance team in Senegal (Action Aid Senegal) offered 80 women three days of intensive training in rights, policy processes, budget planning and allocation, as well as concrete guidance on how to seek knowledge and influence.
The training sessions were carried out in their local dialect and adjusted to accommodate those with little or no education.
One of the women in the group was Mariatta Diarra, 62 years old, who had never attended school. Despite being illiterate, Mariatta was determined to learn to understand governance and accountability processes.