I just read this report made by the CIDDEF about the women situation in Algeria. It shows some interesting data which could be analysed and discussed further by the specialists. As I am not one, I will just comment them and more particularly the figures related to the women role and involvement in politics.
As said in the report, the Algerian constitution revised in 2008 states that “the State shall work for the promotion of political rights of women by increasing their chances of access to representation in elected assemblies.” This led to an increased number of elected women in the last legislative elections: We have now 32% women in the parliament (APN). Sellal’s government is composed of 33 ministers including 4 women and the Senate women members represent 6.9% and all of them were nominated by the president.
The CIDDEF’s report includes the results of a three questions survey as shown in this capture:
Considering the adult population (but the teenagers’ is also interesting), 53% of the surveyed men and 26 % women are against the election of a woman at any position. 25% and 28% additional men and women, respectively, are against electing a woman as the Republic’s president (this is my interpretation of the second question).
So why do we have such results? Here are some ideas:
- Patriarchy: Do I need to say more? Interestingly enough, it is believed that North African Berbers used to follow a matriarchal system; so difficult to imagine now when you look at our societies.
- Algerian men are machos: The woman may rule in her kitchen or in the house but definitely not outside. Being a man means you rule, by essence.
- Women are not good at deciding/ruling/managing: I’ve never been managed by a woman at work (my professional milieu is 90%+ male) but all my colleagues (men and women alike) who experienced it agree that having a woman manager is the worst thing one could face. Another cliché (is it?) is that women are too nice/volatile/sensitive (you name it) and cannot handle the pressure, etc.
- Women are simply not into politics: It is their nature. And it is something I noticed when I wrote this post on Algerian women bloggers. Cf. the comments.
- Religion forbids it: You can read here that “there is no dispute among the scholars that one of the conditions of the imaam or the leader is that he should be male.” I am sure you’ll find some Muslims who disagree.
- Algerian women serve no purpose: They cannot handle any serious matter.
On the other hand, why would 23% men and 46% women think women could be elected at any position?
- Women are part of the Algerian society and it is just fair that they are entitled to the same rights as men. Also, they are just as capable as men.
- Women are less corrupt than men and the country would certainly be better off with them.
- Women are smarter than men (see the report on higher education statistics).
There are probably more (relevant?) reasons to each opinion but I’ll keep it at this.
Louisa Hanoune was the first Algerian and Arab woman candidate to seek office. It was in 2004 and 2009. And in 2009, she even ranked second after Bouteflika with 4.22%. The Algerian president told some foreign media (I didn’t have to say it was foreign for he never speaks to Algerian media) that she was the most suitable candidate after himself. This is perhaps why she is now one of his biggest supporters while she criticizes his government and parliament. But it is not only the president, many Algerians do like her and think she is very apt.
I don’t know if she will ever make it. Perhaps this other (unknown) woman has better chances as she says she can rule 10 countries and it’s just that she prefers to make the men who would rule them. Ok, the comments on Youtube show her chances are nil.
Now here comes the poll. Of course, you first have to make the hypothesis that we actually elect our president in Algeria (it is unfortunately not the case… yet) before answering it. Also, do not hesitate to comment.
I have announced my candidacy a few months ago but I am afraid I have as little chances to be elected as my women compatriots.
PS: If you are a feminist reader, answer 3 is a joke 🙂