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Women's House in Africa

Balouo Salo Locality: Baghere village, Region de Sedhiou, Senegal, Africa
Project status: On coming
Our commitment: Construction, training, supervision, equipment.
Donors: Privates, 5x1000, Kaira Looro
Architectural project: Juan Pablo Lopez Isabella, Kaira Looro, Balouo Salo Builder: Balouo Salo team Institutional partners: WGDD Africa union, UN Women Africa, Ministry of Women in Senegal, Municipality of Baghere, Kengo Kuma & Associates, Kaira Looro Architecture Cumpetition
Number of beneficiaries: 7,800 women.


Rural development, the elimination of barriers, the reduction of inequalities, the creation of a sustainable and lasting environment depend on the commitment that each component of society pours directly and indirectly on the community. Gender equality is crucial for building an equitable society in which everyone, on the basis of their background and possibilities, can make a fundamental contribution to sustainable development. The aim of the project is the creation of a women's home designed to promote empowerment as a determining factor for rural development. The women's house will be the only space within a radius of 100km, managed entirely by women and intended to host awareness raising, training and village growth activities in the beneficiary area.


The project aims at the promotion of human rights, with particular reference to the fight against violence, training and equal rights and opportunities. Senegal is still a long way from achieving parity in the GLOBAL GENDER INDEX, ranking 99th on the global scale and among the worst in sub-Saharan Africa. The need therefore to create and make available to the female community a reference place for the promotion of eual opportunities and women's empowerment, as a determining factor for community development and compliance with the 5th goal of the 2030 Agenda. By delivering a women's house to the community and women's associations, the issue will also be given value through ecological and sustainable architecture. The women's house will be managed by a local committee of women specially formed and supervised by the competent authorities. The women will organize educational activities, seminars, conferences and meetings aimed at spreading the fundamental charters of human rights, knowledge of international laws, the importance of empowerment and equal opportunities. The women's house will be accessible to anyone in the region, but will be of constant use especially to the communities of Baghere and surroundings, according to a direct and indirect influence. The realization of the project will therefore allow to pursue the following objectives and benefits:
- To equip the community and women's associations with highly ecological and sustainable architecture
- Empower the female community through the creation of an organizing committee ;
- Promote education and human rights
- Reducing the gender gap in all sectors and promoting women's emancipation;
- Reduce discrimination and violence against women, girls and children;
- Organize events, seminars, meetings, workshops and exhibitions to raise awareness of the community.


The Women's House will organize and host multidisciplinary activities designed to education, to promote women's empowerment, to eliminate forms of violence and abuse. All activities will be coordinated by the Women's House, trouhgt a managing committee. The Women's House will carry out activities in all sectors to emancipate the female community and young people, while at the same time raising awareness of the male community so that it is part of a development process that affects the entire community. Among the main activities of the Women's House:
- Creation of a management and monitoring committee ;
- Creation and management of a website and social profiles for the promotion of activities and awareness ;:
- Creation of a team ( task force ) to raise awareness for door-to-door, press releases and diplomatic discussions;
- Creation and management of an emergency line and assistance;
- Organization of partnerships with local authorities and institutions to improve the operation and assistance of women's homes from the point of view (health, legal and administrative);
- Organization of international women's days , and the fight against violence (25 November and 8 March);
- Organization of marches and events to raise awareness;
- Fundraising and donors;
- Training courses of local and foreign languages;
- Multidisciplinary courses of recovery and strengthening (mathematics, geography, geometry, physics, history, literature);
- training courses of the UN Women and Africa Union on gender equality, on the fight against violence, on sustainable development;
- Creation of a radio program to raise awareness;
- Construction of a shelter house for first aid, help and protection;
- Organization of missions of specialists (doctors, psychologists, lawyers);
- Screening of documentaries and training films;
- Library , reading and analysis of texts;
- Assistance, protection and aid to the victims of violence and abuse; - Group sessions and analysis, team building, project solutions;
- Community awareness through events, courses, demonstrations and door to door.


The project is located in the village of Baghere, the capital of the municipality of the same name. However, due to its proximity and distribution of the fundamental connections, the project does not only affect Baghere but also some neighboring villages and municipalities. The choice of the village, in fact, is logistically strategic to cover a wider and more needy catchment area, also according to the main flows of affluence in the area determined by the presence of markets or structures such as high school, medical service, cultural center.
Baghere is adjacent to the village of Bakidioto and only 800 meters away from Tanaff. The social and commercial relations with Tanaff are such that Baghere and Tanaff can be considered a single pole in which various interests converge. Tanaff has a purely commercial character while Baghere has a religious character due to the presence of the family of the historian Marabout Younouss Aidara, whose tomb in the Baghere mosque makes it a pilgrimage village. Not far from Baghre the villages of Diarifa, very isolated and deep inland, and that of Tabandian located on the road that connects Baghere with the municipality of Dioudoubou and leading to Sandinieri, the only connection with the regional capital of Sedhiou.
The presence from the neighboring road N6 which connects Ziguinchor with Kolda, and the Tanaff station which is almost halfway, means that the area presents itself as a strategic stopping point from which numerous indirect beneficiaries can also derive who moving from a cities to the other stop in the intervention area. A settlement area of ​​the project (Baghere-Bakidioto), an area of ​​direct beneficiaries (Baghere-Bakidioto- Tanaff- Diarifa) and an area of ​​indirect beneficiaries given by the communities residing in the villages adjacent to those of the area of ​​direct beneficiaries, these villages are: Talicourtou, Badin, Sansancoutoto, Bissary. These villages, due to their proximity and relations with the direct villages, could therefore be considered direct beneficiaries.
This analysis therefore provides an estimate of direct and indirect beneficiaries according to the connections and relationships of the villages, and does not consider an additional number of occasional beneficiaries In demographic terms, the following table indicates the distribution in the direct beneficiary villages, thus offering a number of useful users to which direct beneficiaries should be added. Demographic data is based on data from the Plan de Developpement Commune de aghere (2016-18), the national index data of the ministry (2013), the Plan de developpement regional (2016-18)) and the Pland e developpement departmental (2016 -18), to which appropriate statistical corrections were applied on the basis of national and regional trends, and on corrective factors assessed on the basis of the comparison of development conditions between rural and urban areas of the country. These surveys make it possible to determine the beneficiary demographics as of 2021.
The number of direct beneficiaries of the project, or people who can potentially use the Women's Home, is 16,906 people, of which 51% are women. Male communities were also considered in this data precisely because gender equality is not a female issue, as previously illustrated. In the event that only women over 15 years of age are assumed, there is a total of 7,739 women beneficiaries in the villages immediately next to the project.
It must be considered that the exceptional nature of the project and its uniqueness within a radius of 100km means that the real user is not local but regional. The activities of the Women's House will in fact be accessible to anyone across the country. It can therefore be considered as an indirect basin, one that, due to the possibility and ease of transport, can occasionally take advantage of the activities of the women's home, therefore an occasional regional basin equal to about 75,000 women over 15 years, within 100km, and 65,000 men above. 18 years old. At the institutional level, the women's home will be able to involve more than 5 municipal administrations within a radius of 25km in its activities.

Architectural project

The architectural project will be conceived through the organization of the Kaira Looro Architecture Competition, better illustrated below. This non-profit competition is organized precisely to select the best project for the Women's House from a series of proposals from all over the world and to contribute (through the devolution of the proceeds) to the construction of architecture. The project is selected by a jury of the highest international standing composed of top-level architectural firms and institutions, better described in the paragraph “Project partners”. President of the jury is the famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The architecture of the "Women's House" aims to host meetings, seminars, workshops and any other useful activity to reduce all forms of discrimination, strengthen and promote gender equality, creating awareness, knowledge and involvement of all parties social.
The project will be built in self-construction with the beneficiary community, and will therefore have to respond to certain construction needs, namely:
- be easily achievable through sustainable and adaptable technologies for self-construction, which do not require the use of heavy vehicles or complex equipment;
- make use of natural and / or recycled materials, available on the territory, so as to limit the environmental and economic impact due to the transport of materials and generate profitability on the local context;
- be integrated into the socio-cultural context of the territory by reinterpreting and respecting its traditions.

The architectural project will be built in the village of Baghere, in Senegal. The choice of materials and technologies must be consistent with the principles of sustainability and self-construction, as the project will be built by volunteers in a context of humanitarian intervention with the beneficiary associations and communities. This approach will be crucial to promote the appropriation of the project and to associate educational activities on ecological and sustainable construction technologies capable of preserving the environment, responding to climate change and improving the quality of life. Designing with local materials, accessible to all, both from an economic and logistical point of view, will be important to ensure that the technology can be acquired and reproduced by the community to favor the development of the villages.

Project theme: Gender Equality

The goal of the project is to create a "Women's House" through a symbolic, ecological architecture inspired by the traditions of the place. A space where associations and the various components of society can meet and dialogue on issues of equality and human rights, guaranteeing the female community the involvement and emancipation in favor of the social, economic and political development of the area. Gender equality, in fact, is not only a fundamental human right, but it is the necessary condition for a prosperous world. Ensuring equal access to education, medical care, work, as well as a presence in decision-making processes for everyone, will promote sustainable economies, which will benefit societies and all of humanity. Today, in sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls face obstacles in accessing primary and secondary school, for economic, political or cultural reasons. In North Africa, women hold less than a fifth of paid jobs in non-agricultural sectors, and in only 46 countries do women hold more than 30% of seats in national parliaments. Precisely because gender equality is crucial for the future of the new generations, this is the 5th objective of the "Sustainable Developments Goals" defined by the United Nations, to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence, ensure the protection of rights of all kinds and provide social protection services, guaranteeing female participation at all decision-making levels.

Gender Equality
The project focuses on gender equality and the empowerment of women, based on fundamental human rights laws, declarations and conventions of international organizations including the United Nations and the African Union. Here are some of these fundamental tools (made available to the competitor):
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women;
- Gender Mainstreaming Strategy For Promoting Gender Equality;
- Protocol to the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights and Woman's right in Africa;
- Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa;
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- GLobal gender Gap report

International Law defines "gender" refers to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female and the relationships between women and men and girls and boys. These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and learned through socialization processes. Gender determines what is expected, allowed and evaluated in a woman or a man in a given context. In most societies, there are differences and inequalities between women and men in terms of responsibilities assigned, activities performed, access and control over resources, as well as decision-making opportunities. Other important criteria for socio-cultural analysis include class, race, poverty level, ethnic group and age. Equality between women and men (Gender Equality): refers, instead, to equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. Equality does not mean that women and men are equal, but that everyone's rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female. Gender equality implies that the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men are taken into account, recognizing the diversity of different groups. Gender equality, therefore, is not a women's issue, but it should fully affect and involve men as well as women. Equality is both a human rights issue and a people-centered sustainable development indicator with respect for international human rights.

Videos and reports on gender equality & Gender Gap by Un Women

Gender Gap in Senegal by World Forum

Interviews on Gender Equality in Africa



Partners & Supporters

African Union WGDD The Women, Gender and Development Directorate
Un Women
Ministere de femme du Senegal
Kaira Looro
Kengo Kuma
SBGA Architects
Sex & The City Milan
Urko Sanchez

Parners on gender Equality:

- AFRICA UNION WGDD "The Women, Gender and Development Directorate" is the directorate of the high commission of the African union on human rights, gender and women. Visit the website: https://au.int/

- UN WOMEN AFRICA the United Nations organization focused on gender equality on the African continent. Visit the website: https://africa.unwomen.org/en

- MINISTRY OF WOMEN IN SENEGALthe Ministry of Women and Gender of the Republic of Senegal. Visit the website: https://www.sec.gouv.sn

Partners in architecture by Kaira Looro:

- KENGO KUMA one of the most famous international architectural firms. Visit the website:http://kkaa.co.jp.

- EMBT: Miralles Tabliabue is a famous Spanish architecture firm recognized internationally. Visit the website: http://www.mirallestagliabue.com/

- SEX AND THE CITY: a research and reading initiative of urban spaces focused on gender equality. Visit the website: Sex & The City Milan

Main donors:

- KAIRA LOORO is the most important architecture competition for students for the development of architectural projects for development and emergencies. Visit the website:www.kairalooro.com.

Support the project

- by a donation by PayPal o Card
You can support us with a liberal donation by clicking on the following link:

- by facebook
To launch a fundraising through facebook click on the following link and follow the instructions https://www.facebook.com/fund/balouosalo/

- by Bank transfer
to "Associazione Balouo Salo"
c/c bancario num. 000103238460 - Agenzia 00483 Unicredit Corso Italia Catania
IBAN   IT96I0200816934000103238460 


Balouo SaloWomen house Gender Equality WOmen Empowerment
Balouo Salo  Women house Gender Equality WOmen Empowerment
Balouo Salo Women house Gender Equality WOmen Empowerment
Balouo Salo Women house Gender Equality WOmen Empowerment
Balouo Salo Women house Gender Equality WOmen Empowerment
Balouo Salo Women house Gender Equality WOmen Empowerment
Balouo Salo Women house Gender Equality WOmen Empowerment
Balouo Salo Women house Gender Equality WOmen Empowerment
Balouo Salo Women house Gender Equality WOmen Empowermen