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Subjects

Muslim women -- Algeria, Algeria -- History -- Revolution (1954-1962), Algeria -- History -- Revolution (1954-1962) -- Women, Muslim women

Abstract

After a nearly 130-year regime of violence and oppression under French colonialism, Algerians began their struggle for independence in 1954. Nearly one million people were killed, centuries-old traditions were broken, and the country was torn apart. The Algerian war has also been described as a “moment in which gendered, religious, and ethnic identities were challenged.” Within Algerian society and the French colonial regime at the time, expectations were deeply ingrained regarding the status and rights of women. Particularly significant is the impact that the war had on shaping Algerian women’s role in society. Both sides used women during the conflict to symbolize a greater cause, appropriating their image to form a particular narrative of events.

The idealized constructs of gender propagated by both Algerian men and the French colonial regime were used to project a certain image of women’s social and political roles that served their own interests during the war, with few tangible benefits for women themselves. Although many women suffered and risked their lives in the war against French occupation, their contributions to an Algerian victory did not help them achieve equal rights once independence was declared in 1962. My research provides a chronological historical analysis of the role of women in the Algerian war. I use primary and secondary historical and literary sources to argue that despite participation in the liberation struggle Algerian women remained marginalized in the new independent Algerian society.

DOI

10.15760/anthos.2013.43

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12586

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