Algerian activists who had gathered to mark International Women’s Day recently were forced to disperse and arrested by large swathes of police as they demonstrated.

Activists from the Tharwa Fadhma N’Soumer and Djazairouna associations had gathered near the Grande Poste in Algiers to denounce inequality in Algerian society and pay tribute to the women who died during the black decade of Algeria’s 1990’s civil war.

“The police told us that they were there not for our little gathering but for something else and that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time” one activist who was present, Djamel-Eddine Oulmane, explained.

“We must constantly reiterate that we are here to ensure that women acquire more rights and full citizenship in relation to men,” Oulmane continued. “It must not be forgotten that women had the right to vote in Algeria, while some countries did not have it in 1962.”

According to Yasmina Chouaki, in 1979…”we did not have a Family Code. In 1984, we ended up with a guardian on the head.  Before the people were free for themselves, a person of full age could marry on their own.”

For Oulmane, gender equality will enable Algeria to improve in all areas. “We cannot move forward in a society without half of its component … We need only look at the present state of the Arab-Muslim world: no innovation and no intellectual creation…we are a blocked society compared to the rest of the world. “

Source: Middle East Monitor.




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