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Senegal Lawmaker Attacks Female Colleague, Sparks Debate On Gender Violence

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Senegal Lawmaker

Senegal Lawmaker

A male opposition lawmaker slapped a female colleague in the face in Senegal’s parliament, according to a video that later appeared on social media, prompting a global debate about violence against women even in the heart of a country’s power center. During a budget presentation, opposition MP Massata Samb approached and slapped Amy Ndiaye Gniby of the ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) coalition, sparking a violent altercation in parliament between the government and opposition MPs.

Samb addressed the assembly on Thursday regarding comments Gniby made over the weekend in which she criticized a spiritual leader who was opposed to a third Sall term. “Mister president, a deputy has stood in front of this tribune to insult someone’s marabout [spiritual leader],” said Samb.

Tensions between ruling and opposition politicians have risen since a legislative election in July in which the ruling party lost its comfortable majority, exacerbated in part by fears that President Macky Sall will seek a third term in 2024. In Senegal, this would be a violation of the president’s term limitations.

Supporters of President Macky Sall insist on a constitutional amendment that would allow Sall to run again.

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