A Gender Divide Melts Away In The Waters Of The Atlantic

“Senegal has evolved, we as women have evolved. … We are free to do what we want, without our husbands”

Four-hundred neon swim noodles smack down upon the surging water, nearly creating the experience of pyrotechnics. The cacophony of 200 voices adds to the festive atmosphere, as a single coach’s instructions barely pierce through the sound.

Ambitious early morning gym goers engaged in aqua fitness may not seem strange, but this gym is located in the Atlantic Ocean, and the majority of class members are Muslim women. It’s a society where women are rarely seen participating in sports. Here, men and women sneak in their aqua-gym exercise before 9 a.m—after which time temperatures will climb to 95 degrees Fahrenheit with near 100 percent humidity.

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