Action – Research to foster community health insurance for women in Sédhiou, Senegal

Title BEING Women: Empowerment, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Emancipation Promotion of sexual and reproductive health rights in Senegal

Location Sédihou region, Senegal

Duration 2019-2022

Project leader COSPE

Partners Fédération des Associations Féminines du Sénégal (FAFS), Association Juristes Sénégalaises (AJS), Région Médicale de Sédhiou – Ministère de la Santé et de l’Action sociale, Global Health Center (CSG) – Meyer University Hospital, Cellule de Suivi Opérationnel des Programs de Lutte contre la Pauvreté (CSO – PLCP) –Ministère de la Femme, de la Famille et du Genre

Funding AICS – Italian Agency for Development Cooperation



In Sédhiou, health rights are not granted for everybody especially not for women and girls.
The rooted patriarchal culture and the religious interpretation of sexuality affect deeply women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health. This pressure often results in genital mutilation, early marriages and pregnancies, maternal and infant mortality, violence and the spread of diseases (STDs and other).
Women can seldom decide over their own bodies and do not have enough autonomy to allocate economic resources to care for their health and do not have access to information and education.
The situation is complicated by inadequate medical infrastructures which lack of qualified personnel and by a widespread economic instability.


General objective

The project “BEING Women” aims at improving women’s sexual and reproductive health by supporting them in exercising their rights. The goal is to give women a voice on their sexual and reproductive rights, both in their households and through institutions, so that they can make informed decisions and have access to improved sexual health services in their area.
The objective of the study carried out by the Inclusive Development Unit is to provide in-depth knowledge of the dynamics related to the health coverage of families in order to encourage the experimentation of community health insurance.


Our contribution

The Inclusive Development Unit analyzed the context of the project from various perspectives. First,  a literature review examined health system financing and reforms at the national level in Senegal. Second, a gender- sensitive perspective allowed to identify the most important factors influencing women’s access to health services. Finally, the Unit interviewed key stakeholders in the Sédhiou region to investigate the internal dynamics related to the health coverage of families, focusing on the main factors which affect utilisation of services and financial risk protection for health expenses.

Discover more on the Inclusive Development Unit