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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: August 2019

5 - Algeria

from Part II - Case Studies


This chapter shows how women became the focal point of the tensions between the Islamists and those who opposed extremism both symbolically and existentially during the Black Decade. It shows how in the post-civil war period women, their bodies, and ultimately women’s rights became a centerpiece of the regime’s fight against fundamentalism. Legal reform, which included an emphasis on political rights, was part of a strategy against extremism, which also had a negotiated and military dimension to it. In more recent years, the struggle has shifted to the cultural arena as women, including young women, push back against Islamist proscriptions on women’s dress. As a consequence, Algeria has seen the demise of militarized and political Islamist influences.