Visiting Senegal

Wednesday, November 11th

Crown Princess Mary visited Senegal with the two organizations Orchid Project and Tostan for her to get a better understanding and work with the Community Empowerment Program focusing on girls and women's rights. On November 15th Crown Princess Mary witnessed a ceremony to abandon female genital cutting. The Crown Princess stayed in Senegal from November 11-15th. 1

It does now some as a surprise that the Crown Princess is visiting Senegal, all to show her sincere support to combat female genital mutilation. For several year the Crown Princess has been committed to help both girls and women everywhere in the world. I found this phrase from an article on, here, saying: "HRH Crown Princess Mary is a strong voice on the issue of women's rights and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights around the world." Spot on. Not that long ago she also attended the Global Network of Women's Shelters' Conference in the Netherlands where she was accompanied by Queen Máxima. Her appearance is once again to show her support. She attended the conference in the Netherlands, because of her membership of the High Level Task Force for ICPD, as patron of the WHO Regional Office for Europe and chairman of the Mary Foundation. Also as patron of the UNFPA, the Crown Princess is perfect to visit Senegal. This visit was a bit more private than usually. It means that we just heard about her visit when she arrived back in Denmark. Actually the articles I have been able to found is only about her last day. But maybe it is also the most important one because the Crown Princess witnessed an sensational ceremony to abandon female genital cutting. 

Over fifty communities, a 1,000 people, were gathered in the Kaolack region of Senegal to declare the end of a centuries old practice the female genital cutting. Along with representatives from among other UNICEF, UNFPA and local representatives from the Government the Crown Princess witnessed the declaration. Something a lot of people around the world have worked for in many years. To celebration the declaration included formal speeches as well as traditional music and dance. This is truly a day to remember. At the same time the communities take part in a human rights education program run by the local NGO Tostan. Their Community Empowerment Program will enable them to hold the conversation about human rights and what it really means to them. With the help from the Orchid Project the community members to take the discussions about human rights and spread them to the neighboring villages. Over 7,300 communities have already declared abandonment in The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.

On her last day, after five days, Mary attended the ceremony dressed casual in her white Zara lace blouse and a navy blue maxi skirt from By Malene Birger worn this summer at Gråsten, here. Accessorized with jewellery I think are gifts, she celebrated a day to remember in Senegal. She also appear wearing a bright pink dress, which I think is some kind of traditional suit.

Blouse: Zara

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