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Joining Hands: How Women’s Collectives are Transforming the Culture of West Africa

The Paris Institute of Political Studies - Sciences Po

The Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) students worked with Équilibres et Populations (EquiPop), a partner NGO that empowers young feminist collective action on the health and rights of women and girls throughout West Africa.


Coordinated by Sciences Po’s Gender Studies Program (PRESAGE) and hosted by the Projets Collectifs, this project was led by graduate students under the supervision of a faculty advisor. EquiPop was created by a team of doctors and journalists in 1993. It combines social mobilization and policy, project development, technical assistance and support, and partnership building in order to improve the health and rights of women and girls around the world.

Deliverables and Impact

The goal of this research partnership is to improve the understanding of collective actions led by young feminists in three West-African countries: Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire,
and Senegal. The graduate students provided a published report and presentation that has enabled EquiPop to gain a better understanding of the issues at stake in specific socio-economic and political contexts. It provided informed answers to the questions: How can these collective actions challenge cultural norms and be levers towards gender equality at the local, national, regional, and international levels? How are these actions and voices perceived? How can they be supported?

Key Recommendations

The Sciences Po team offers recommendations to Equipop, an NGO that utilizes social mobilization, policy, and technical assistance for the advancement of women’s health and rights to enhance the understanding of collective action lead by feminists and activists in West Africa. These interventions include increasing survey studies and field missions on the needs of women in rural communities, boosting development of support services for GBV survivors, and encouraging schools to introduce ‘gender units.’ Equipop will be using these context-specific recommendations to tailor their programming to support young feminists’ efforts to transform culture in Senegal, Guinea, and Côte d’Ivoire. 

The Reports:

Project Blogs - Transforming Culture - West Africa

Sciences Po Reports

Our Distinguished Participants Included

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Aurélie Gal-Régniez, Executive Director,


Aurélie Gal-Régniez, Executive Director of Equilibres & Populations, has worked for the for the last fifteen years promoting women’s health around the world, their rights and their empowerment by combining policy advocacy, social mobilization and pilot operations. She graduated from Sciences Po Grenoble and also holds a Master’s Degree in International Cooperation and Development from the Sorbonne, as well as a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management from the Paris IAE Graduate Business School. She lectures at Paris-Descartes University and has worked with several research institutes.

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Dr. Hélène Périvier, Economist, Director of PRESAGE Program, Sciences Po


Hélène Périvier is an economist at the French Observatory of Economic Conditions (OFCE-Sciences Po), where she holds the habilitation to supervise research. She heads the PRESAGE program as well as the “Evaluation of Social and Family Policies” of the OFCE. She is a member of the High Council for Family and Children and a member of the Scientific Council of the National Observatory for Early Childhood. She coordinated the European project "Effective Gender Equality in Research and the Academia" (EGERA) from 2014-2017. She also coordinates the ANR Research Project on Discrimination, Orchestras and Genre (PRODIGE), in collaboration with Hyacinthe Ravet.

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