Today, we are celebrating the International Women’s Day (IWD) all over the world. This year, this date coincides in Algeria with a day of mobilization against Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his regime. A mobilization in which Algerian women naturally take part.
Since the beginning of the popular protest movement in Algeria, Algerian women have taken center stage and are actively involved in the protests organized in all Algerian cities as well as in the political debate about the country’s situation.
Whether students, doctors, lawyers, artists, journalists, … or simply housewives, Algerian women engage and have their voices heard. They even do not hesitate to take the lead like those artists who produce videos, widely followed on Youtube, to express their position against Bouteflika and his regime or those female bloggers, followed by thousands of people, who express themselves openly on social media and get directly involved in the political debate.
Despite considerable legal progress over the last ten years (nationality law, quota policy, the law criminalizing violence against women), attitudes have not changed noticeably enough [i]. The Algerian women continue to suffer the dictatorship of conservatives who often denied them the right to the public space.
Today, they have the firm intention to take advantage of the ongoing citizen movement in the country to use all their weight to gain access to the public space and become full-fledged citizens. For the last twenty years, not so many women have been taking part in demonstrations and as visibly as they now do thanks, in particular, to social media.
In a society that aspires to democracy, the place of women is crucial, and their involvement plays a prominent part in the success of any democratic change. Female political figures begin to emerge, although tentatively. It is now up to them to make a quantitative as well as qualitative leap, in order to be able to promote their rights and give themselves a key position within the Algerian society.