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IPU statement on violence in the Senegal Parliament

Senegal parliament


A session in the Senegal Parliament, CARMEN ABD ALI / AFP

The IPU condemns in the strongest possible terms the violence that took place in the Senegal National Assembly this week, committed by two parliamentarians, Mr. Yewi Askanwi and Mr. Moustapha Sy, against a pregnant parliamentarian, Ms. Gniby Amy Ndiaye.

Any physical attack on a parliamentarian or between parliamentarians is totally unacceptable, regardless of what is under discussion. Violence against women parliamentarians is particularly shocking, even more so during the annual campaign of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence that follows the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November.

IPU Secretary General, Martin Chungong, said “I vehemently condemn this odious attack. Parliaments must be a safe space for the sake of strong and representative democratic institutions. There must be zero tolerance to any form of sexism or violence, especially against women parliamentarians who are usually in the minority.”

The IPU urges the President of National Assembly to investigate fully and take the necessary sanctions against the perpetrators to ensure that the institution of Parliament is respected as well as those who work in it.

The violence comes in the wake of an IPU study last year, in partnership with the African Parliamentary Union, which revealed that sexism, harassment and violence against women are ubiquitous in parliaments across Africa.