Algerian women, citizenship and the 'Family Code'

Publication Author: 
Zahia Smail Salhi
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This article traces Algerian women's struggle for full citizenship after the national liberation struggle ended in 1962. The Algerian Family Code, which became law in 1984, defines women as minors under the law and as existing only in so far as they are daughters, mothers or wives.

Algerian women are demanding that the government repeal the Family Code; challenging patriarchal values that prevail in Algerian society and resisting and fighting Islamic fundamentalism. Women's struggle for both equality and national liberation are crucial to democracy: if a democratic state is one in which citizens have the rights to participate in society and the way it is governed, women must, automatically be included in the equation. Yet, in many so-called democratic states, women lack full citizenship.