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Senegal

Sub-Saharan Africa

Women

Senegal ranks 130 out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, where a high rank equals high equality. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Children

Senegal has a Workplace Index score of 5.2, a Marketplace Index score of 5.7 and a Community and Environment Index score of 4.4 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, the main minority groups in Senegal are Wolof (38.7 %), Pular/Peuhl (26.5 %), Serer (15 %), Mandinka (4.2 %), Diola/Jola (4 %), Soninke (2.3 %) and 9.3 % other (including Europeans and people of Lebanese descent). Although French is the official language, it is generally only spoken by the educated elite, and instead Wolof is most widely spoken, even by non-Wolof. Traditionally, Wolof are sedentary farmers. They are concentrated along the coast in the northern part of Senegal and most are Muslim. Serer are concentrated in western Senegal and traditionally have farmed millet, rice and other agricultural products. Many are Roman Catholic. The Peuhl are concentrated in the more arid north and are traditionally pastoralists. A sub-group, the Toucouleur, are settled agriculturalists living primarily in the Senegal River valley of the north. Both groups speak Pulaar, although the Toucouleur speak a distinct dialect. Most Peuhl and Toucouleur are Muslim, but some practice traditional beliefs or a syncretic mix of the two. The Diola (Jola) are concentrated in the southern, forested Senegalese region of Casamance. The Bassari are a numerically small ethnic group of around 8,800 concentrated in south-eastern Senegal, in addition to populations across the border in north-eastern Guinea. Bassari are more closely linked to groups in Guinea’s rainforest than with Muslims of the savanna. They are primarily hunters and gatherers with only limited cultivation and no pastoralism. Due to the isolation of their villages, Bassari were generally afforded protection from slave raiders, mainly the Peuhl. Until recently Bassari maintained their traditional religious and decentralized political systems, with an isolationist attitude towards their stronger, centralized Muslim neighbours.

Lebanese make up less than one per cent of the population. Migrants from Lebanon and Syria (both are called Lebanese locally) began to arrive in West Africa, including Senegal, in the late nineteenth century. This flow grew rapidly between the two World Wars when Lebanon was under French domination, and there was another influx beginning in 1975 due to Lebanon’s civil war. They established themselves as merchants and later diversified into real estate, transportation and light industry. Lebanese have historically preferred to export their earnings rather than invest in Senegal, causing friction between the government and the Lebanese community.

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 3 % in the subregion Sub-Saharan Africa.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Senegal ranks 76 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch