Professor Fatou Sow Sarr has a multidisciplinary background with a PhD in Social Work and Social Policy from Université Laval, a Doctorate degree in Sociology and Anthropology of Policy from Paris VIII, a postgraduate degree in Development Sociology from IEDES-Paris I Sorbonne, a postgraduate degree in Environmental Science from Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Dakar and a French Master’s degree in development economics from the Aix-Marseille II School of Economics.
Professor Sarr was a welfare officer and technical advisor at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Director of the Institute of Gender and Family. She lectured at the Université de Namur in Belgium, then at Dakar’s National Institute of Social Workers, before joining IFAN in 1999. In 2004, she set up a Gender and Scientific Research Laboratory to mainstream gender in UCAD, and train and supervise students.
Since 1998, she has served as an expert in gender training and the development and evaluation of gender programmes and budget for UN institutions in about twenty African and Caribbean countries (Haiti, DRC, Rwanda, Togo, Gabon, Burundi, Mauritius Island, Congo, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Morocco, Djibouti, Sao Tome and Principe, among others.)
Prof. Sarr teaches in some European universities including the Centre for African Studies in Madrid, University of LLeida in Spain, University of Granada, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva.
She has authored several publications, scientific papers and reports on gender and development, women and power, women entrepreneurship, climate change and the environment, social policy, migration, security, migration and capital transfer, illegal migration, local development, gender and energy, gender-based violence, women leadership, gender parity, among others.
She has been involved in women political and economic empowerment through various organisations including Women Leaders’ Caucus, which played a crucial role in the vote of the law on parity in Senegal. She is the coordinator for French-speaking Africa for the Women Political Participation programme, funded by Swedish cooperation and implemented by IDEA.
Prof Sarr has been involved in activities of national importance, serving as member of the Committee on Higher Education Reform (2013), the National Consultation Committee on Health and Social Welfare (2012), and the High Council for Radio and Television (2001 to 2006).
She has also been involved in international programmes as member of the Africa 2020 Scientific Committee to identify the specific issues of women artists in Africa and write a more inclusive art history (AWARE, Paris), member of the WHO Advisory Committee on health research and development, member of the IMF Advisory Group for Sub-Saharan Africa, member of the Executive Committee of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE/Nairobi).
Prof. Sarr has received numerous awards, which include: Senegal’s Commander of the National Order of the Lion in 2020, France’s Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honour in 2018, Senegal’s Officer of the National Order of the Lion in 2015, the 2015 Re-Source Sunnunet Outstanding Citizen Award for her work and commitment to the nation, the 2014 Cauris d’Or Award for Senegal’s Best Female Manager for MEDES (Association of Businesses of Senegal), the Boston Pan African Alliance Award in 2013 for work and publications on gender issues), named Eminent Educationalist in 2008 by the Executive Committee of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE).