Ndeye Dague Gueye

Ashoka Fellow

Citation

This profile was prepared when Ndeye Dague Gueye was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Ndèye Dagué is going beyond traditional efforts that train people with physical disabilities to fit into an unwelcoming society by helping disabled women fully abandon their negative self-perception and assert their human rights. She works with disabled women to give them the skills and self-knowledge to participate in Senegalese society and simultaneously educates society to accept these women as part of their own community.
Until recently, myth dictated Senegalese attitudes toward the disabled. Already marginalized because of their gender, disabled women face a double dose of societal prejudice. Because disabled women are so marginalized, there is a lack of understanding of the health issues they face, both among the medical community and among the women themselves; this is particularly true of reproductive health issues. Ndèye Dagué is therefore ensuring that disabled women have access to the information they need to understand their condition and the effect it has on their health. She also builds awareness among disabled women, as well as medical personnel, so that the women have access to a healthcare system that respects rather than shames them.
Ndèye Dagué recognizes that economic independence is a critical component in building the dignity necessary to defend disabled people's human rights. She is helping disabled women develop marketable skills appropriate to their physical abilities. She also fosters a network of organizations for women and the disabled in order to allow individuals to work collectively toward a more just environment for disabled women. These networks also allow her to broadcast her efforts to a wide audience that is beginning to spread beyond Senegal's borders.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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