Home Institution

Colby College

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Program Name

Senegal: National Identity and the Arts


The values young Senegalese women acquire at home revolve around motherhood, domesticity and, above all, solidarity. The students lucky enough to attend La Maison D’Education Mariama Ba, the most elite girl’s high school in all of Senegal carry these community-centered values. Here, young Senegalese women have a chance to take a detour from the prescribed path that their gender has dictated by spending seven years living and studying with their peers in a highly intellectual setting. An understanding of the narratives of their lives before school, time spent at MEMB, and vision of their futures provides a lens through which one can grasp a better picture of the options Senegalese women are given and what values drive the choices they can and cannot make. An amalgamation of these stories demonstrates what doors an excellent education can open and what values stay the same regardless of what a formalized education can provide.


Education | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Maternal and Child Health | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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