Senegal marriages and dating

Before independence, Dakar was the capital of French West Africa (AOF, or l'Afrique Occidentale Francçaise ), which included nine French-speaking West African states. The spread of education and increased economic opportunity have modified a traditional social structure based on kinship, but the majority of the people adhere to the traditional values of Kersa (respect for others) and Tegin (good manners).Although predominantly Muslim, Senegal is a tolerant secular state, whose peoples have lived together peacefully for several generations and have intermingled to some extent. Terranga (hospitality) is a common word used by almost all of the country's twelve ethnic groups.Eventually the father abandoned the plan.” Sané said since awareness of the issue has expanded, communities have often been turning to the media or the justice system to put pressure on families who would give away their young girls. A recent study by UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the University of Ziguinchor said early pregnancy and forced and early marriage were types of sexual violence faced by young girls.“But these acts of violence generally do not go through a legal process.Marriage is legal from age 18; for girls aged 16-18 parents must give authorization; for those aged 13-16, a judge must decide. But as in 12-year-old Rama’s case, for many, custom outweighs the law.“The father argued that he had to marry off his daughter because pressure from elders in the family was so great,” said Lamine Sané, history and geography teacher in Sédhiou and coordinator of a human rights and awareness club Amnesty launched in high schools in 2008.Twelve-year-old Rama* in Senegal’s Sédhiou region is still in school instead of wedded to a man in his 40s, after community members convinced her father to abandon the family’s plan to give her away.

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A poetic etymology from the Wolof people states that the name derives from the local term Sunugal, meaning "our dugout canoe" (everyone is in the same boat).The largest single ethnic group is the Wolof, who makes up over one-third of the population.Although French is the official language, it is spoken only by an educated minority, and Wolof has become a lingua franca towns and markets, schools, and interethnic marriages. Animals, songs, flags, and colors have served as national symbols since before independence.“It is quite common to see parents remove their daughters from school to force them into marriage,” Saliou Sarr, secondary school principal in Mpal, 33km from the city of Saint-Louis, told IRIN.National statistics on the number of girls leaving school to get married are not available, an Education Ministry official said.

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