Souleymane Sagna joined Equality Now in November 2015. Based out of Dakar, Senegal, he is responsible for the Maanda Project, which is aimed at using the law to end harmful practices in Benin (child marriage) and Mauritania (FGM). Souleymane has extensive experience in human rights advocacy, and in helping civil society organizations’ to conduct litigation and advocacy at national levels and with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). Prior to joining Equality Now, Soulemayne worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Senegal on Protection. He has also worked as a consultant for the International Human Rights and Development Association; Open Society Justice Initiative on a strategic litigation program in Mauritania; and statelessness consultant for UNHCR in Liberia. Souleymane holds two Master’s Degrees: Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford, UK and Human Rights from the Central European University in Budapest. He is also proficient in French and English.
For Souleymane, if men cannot change their condescending attitude, then the law and awareness can. Soulemayne’s shero is Aline Sitoe Diatta, a Senegalese heroine who opposed the French colonial empire by influencing the community to resist in growing crops for the benefit. His favorite quote is by Montesquieu, from the Spirit of the Laws: “There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.”
Outside of the office, Soulemayne enjoys watching movies, fighting injustice, documentaries, and nature and seaside outings.