PEP researchers in Senegal hold national policy conference to highlight problems for working women under the EU Economic Partnership Agreement

March 28, 2019 | Dakar, Senegal

A team of local PEP researchers held a national policy conference to highlight how the EU Economic Partnership Agreement exacerbates gender inequality in Senegal’s labour market.

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March 28, 2019 - A team of local PEP researchers held a national policy conference in Dakar, Senegal, to discuss their findings on how trade liberalization under the European Union (EU)’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with West Africa will exacerbate labour market gender inequality.

Over 60 stakeholders, two-thirds of whom are involved in policy processes, attended the conference where the research team highlighted the problems Senegalese women will face under the EPA. 

In presenting their PEP study on the Impact of the EPA on women's decent employment, selected under the PAGE II initiative in 2017, the research team explained how the trade liberalization under the EPA reduces the demand for work in sectors in which women are busiest.

As well as sharing their findings that the EPA will exacerbate labour market gender inequality, the team proposed some mitigating policy options. The researchers found that public investment made under Senegal’s Programme Triennal d’Investissements Publics (PTIP, Triennial Public Investment Program) would make it possible to counter these negative effects by improving women’s employment. In particular, a 10% increase in public investment—particularly if in sectors such as agriculture, hunting, fishing and construction—would achieve the government’s objectives for women’s employment even under the effects of trade liberalization. Find out more about the team’s research methods, findings, and policy recommendations in PEP Policy Brief 185.

Main outcomes

Mr. Mayacine Camara, as Coordinator of the Direction Générale de la Planification et des Politiques Economiques (DGPPE, General Directorate of Planning and Economic Policies) at the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Planning (MEFP), is responsible for decisions relating to the allocation of funding for public investment. Mr. Camara said his department would use the team’s results to inform future policy decisions. Additionally, he said the DGPPE would set up a committee—involving stakeholders from the conference (decision makers, NGO representatives and researchers) —to oversee how the recommendations from the conference are implemented.

Furthermore, Mr. Camara promised to fund similar studies to foster partnerships between researchers and decision makers. Mrs. Fatou Dramé also underlined the importance of high-quality local studies such as the one by the PEP team and encouraged the DGPPE to support this kind of research. Mrs. Dramé is a consultant at the Diréction Equité Egalité et du Genre (DEEG, Department of Equality, Equity and Gender).

Mrs. Aminata Dia, an economist at the Bureau Opérationnel de Suivi du Plan Sénégal Emergent (BOS-PSE, Operational Office for Monitoring the Plan for an Emerging Senegal) is a policy advisor. She agreed with the team’s recommendations and suggested that training be provided to promote women’s employment in the sectors that are least likely to benefit from the trade liberalization policy. Specifically, she called upon Mr. Camara to promote vocational training for women. 

Comments from audience members representing a number of government organisations indicated that they would focus on training their colleagues to better promote women's employment in a variety of sectors.


The research team organized the event with support from PEP and in collaboration with the Direction Générale de la Planification et des Politiques Economiques (DGPPE), Laboratoire de Recherche en Economie de Saint-Louis, Laboratoire de recherches sur les Institutions et la Croissance (LINC).

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