Senegalese Entrepreneur Breaks Barriers as First Female Presidential Candidate in Years

Activists say Anta Babacar Ngom’s presidential campaign is reviving the West African nation’s long-standing feminist movement. Ngom, a 40-year-old business professional, is the first female presidential candidate in Senegal. She aims to establish a bank and create millions of jobs for women to achieve financial independence.

She represents women and youth, two demographic groups disproportionately affected by the country’s economic troubles, high unemployment, and rising costs.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Ngom stated that “our country has enormous potential.” The natural resources are present and can be developed. The young females I meet ask for my help. They do so because they are confident that if a woman gains power, she will put an end to their misery. “I won’t forget them.”

Her determination in making it this far in the election, despite numerous opinions that she may not fulfill her presidential ambitions, demonstrates how women are increasingly making strides toward equality.

Ngom’s followers are optimistic about the next administration and proud to support a female candidate. Although both of the women who ran for president in 2012 received fewer than 1% of the vote, others argue that their involvement was nevertheless noteworthy. Senegal now boasts one of the highest levels of female representation in Africa, with more than 40% of women serving in parliament.

Throughout the 1990s, Senegalese women formed grassroots organizations. The country appointed its first female prime minister in 2001, and legislation mandating gender balance on electoral lists for all political parties in 2010 helped to enhance the number of women in politics.

The economy is a big worry for the population, and the leader of her family’s food sector has prioritized it in her campaign.

Due to financial constraints, hundreds of Senegalese have tried risky journeys to the West in search of a better life.

Ngom added, “It is critical to strike a balance between modern evolution and respect for our customs.” Women must be able to express themselves freely while preserving our cultural identity and honoring the traditional values that have defined our society.”

Ngom, the CEO of Sedima, Senegal’s leading chicken production organization, controls production, distribution, and company development.

Babacar Ngom, Anta’s father, launched Sedima in 1976 with only $14 and 120 chicks. Today, the company employs approximately 700 people.

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