Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Laws
Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, September 24, 2004
Viviane Wade, First Lady of Senegal, affectionately known as "la mere des tout-petits - the mother of all children," has worked for more than forty years promoting women's groups and their families to emerge from impoverishment. She first started with women's groups in indigent suburbs of Dakar. One enterprise group, Women Embroidery Artists of Malika, has become a famous producer of haute couture and other household fashions with a thriving market in Africa, Europe, and North America. The visibility of women's equality has been elevated because of this enterprise. As President of the Association Education-Sante, a non-government agency, she has worked tirelessly to address the needs of the impoverished communities in remote Southeast Senegal, working with minority tribes where malaria and infant mortality rates are far above the national average. The comprehensive education, health, and training programs she instituted have had dramatic results. She has also taken the lead in organizing and participating in symposia addressing strategies to fight HIV/AIDS.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.