First Advisor

Priya Kapoor

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International & Global Studies: Global Studies and University Honors


International and Global Studies


Non-governmental organizations -- Senegal -- Dakar -- Case studies, Women -- Political activity -- Senegal -- Dakar, Women -- Social conditions, Transnationalism, Social advocacy




Nongovernmental organizations have become important actors and contributors to global governance as states have been superseded as the primary representatives of constituents. Many of the current studies on NGOs tend to focus on their abilities as institutions without actually studying the processes that occur in the work. The current trend in the literature is moving beyond a generalization of NGO work that provides binary accounts of success and failure, good and bad toward ethnographic approaches that study the processes of NGOs in time and space. It is argued that development NGOs, particularly those that work on issues of gender and women’s rights, are part of what Keck and Sikkink call "transnational advocacy networks" where a set of values and meaning are shared among various actors working on a particular issue. However, these networks are clearly defined and do not include sporadic, non-organized actors working with shared values within and beyond borders. Through a participant observation and data collected through semi-structured interviews, I analyze how a local women’s organization in Senegal works with globally and transnationally defined values to engage in gender activism and community-based work. I argue that Réseau Siggil Jigeen relies on diverse strategies and networks within and beyond its borders to engage in a process of collaborative communication, or rather translation, of constructs of gender and women’s rights into diverse local contexts to enhance the position of women’s socially, legally, and economically. As a result, these organizations work alongside a variety of actors committed to shared values of gender equality and women’s rights, which I argue are indicative of discursive transnational networks.


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