The WLUML interview: Marieme Hélie-Lucas

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Algerian sociologist and founder of the international solidarity network, Women Living Under Muslim laws, Marieme Hélie-Lucas talks to networker, Amal al-Ashtal, about the origins and early years of WLUML.

In her own words:

Excerpt: "At the time I started this network [1984] we were under the threat of a new family law in Algeria which deprived us of rights that we enjoyed previously under colonial law. So as you may have read, Algerian women were really active in the liberation struggle process and in 1962, which is the date of independence, and 1984, which is when the family law was finally passed after many, many demonstrations and struggles women were waging against a proposed family court. We could see many signs of our being pushed back to the homes which obviously none of us, the generation of liberation struggle, expected. So it was really interesting when I started travelling out of Algeria, mainly to Morocco and Tunisia in the beginning, to see that laws were different in other places when each time we were taught that you can’t change anything because this is Islam. So my first contact with women from other Muslim countries showed me that this was a big lie and that just by interacting with each other, we could free ourselves for more ways of struggling for our rights."