“If you are raped, it is because you sought him out. » This was declared on November 18, Amina Badiane, president of the Miss Senegal beauty pageant, while Ndèye Fatima Dione, the winner of the 2020 edition, assured a few days earlier that she had been raped the same year during a trip organized by the committee. “She is of age. All she has to do is file a complaint. A rape involves two people ”, had even added the president when the former Miss had found herself pregnant as a result of this sexual assault.
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Words that shocked the Senegalese population and pushed feminist associations, which denounce the “apology for rape”, to launch a petition and file a complaint, this Wednesday, November 24, against Amina Badiane.
The apology for rape
Faced with the outcry aroused by his remarks, Amina Badiane apologized the next day. But the wave of reaction sparked by his statements has freed the floor. It didn’t take much more to ignite social networks, where hashtags #JusticepourFatima and the testimonies then multiplied.
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Several candidates of the beauty contest have also told in the media of unhealthy practices within the organizing committee.
« Before the competition even started, the host invited me to dinner one evening. He started to touch me and I didn’t accept », Tells the ” World “ a former Miss, four years after the events, on condition of anonymity. She ensures that the Miss accepting the advances were valued during the competition.
Build up the pressure
For its part, the Ladies Club Senegal platform launched a petition to demand the dissolution of the committee and filed, with other associations on Wednesday, several complaints against the president. The petition, addressed to the Ministries of Culture and Women, must also be sent to international committees such as Miss Universe or Miss World to increase the pressure.
“The words of Mme Badiane come back to sweep aside with the back of the hand all the work that we have done so that the law which criminalizes rape since January 2020 is passed ”, indignant Saly Diakhaté, one of the administrators of the group, who hopes that justice will be seized to investigate behind the scenes of the Miss Senegal contest.
On November 19, CFAO Motors Senegal announced that it was ending the partnership established with the committee and recovering its vehicles. “CFAO Motors Senegal strongly condemns the remarks made by the president of the Miss Senegal committee. These words go against our values ”, assures the company in a press release.
Since then, several activists have spoken out to demand accountability from the committee’s other sponsors, including the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Health.
“Feeding the culture of rape”
« Words like these are made every day in Senegal […] including in the mouths of professionals supposed to take care of the victims, the police and health service agents in the lead », Reports Jerry Azilinon, administrator of the Doyna movement fighting against violence against women, to ” Young Africa “.
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For the activist, ” they are mostly poorly trained on these issues, tend to put the blame on the victim, to make ironic remarks… This greatly contributes to trivializing violence and to nurturing the culture of rape ».
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For the moment, according to the Senegalese press, Ndèye Fatima Dione has not lodged a complaint and has not spoken about the reactions and fallout of this affair either.