The U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has hailed the increasing participation of women in politics in Senegal, especially the election of 65 women into its 150-member National Assembly.
Mrs. Clinton made this known in a wide-ranging speech at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, during her two-day visit to Senegal.
“I was particularly impressed that Senegalese voters elected women to 65 of the 150 seats in the new National Assembly,” she said.
The U.S. diplomat explained that the number of elected female legislators in Senegal gives the country one of the highest percentages of women in directly-elected legislative bodies in the world.
“Democracies must be open to and include all of their people, men and women, not just to vote, but to have the chance to participate and to lead,” Mrs. Clinton said while commending Senegalese women who took leadership roles during the voting, “including the Women’s Platform for Peaceful Elections, a network of more than 60 organizations.”
Senegal is the first stop in the Secretary of State’s six-nation swing across Africa, in what may be her last visit to the continent as the U.S. top diplomat.
Mrs. Clinton is also expected to visit South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa during her 11-day trip which began on July 31. The U.S. diplomat says the tour will be used to emphasise U.S. policy commitments outlined in the Presidential Policy Directive.
The trip is also expected to strengthen democratic institutions, spur economic growth, advance peace and security, as well as promote opportunity and development for all citizens.