Volume 2014, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2311-8148
  • EISSN:


How has the rise of Algerian youth organizations providing legal resources to women impacted female involvement in politics, the media, and policy-making? The purpose of my research is to examine how French colonial “Family Law” and traditional Berber patriarchy in 19th century Algeria intersected, and how Islamic feminism and legal reformation grew out of that intersection with globalization. French law and Berber patriarchy aligned in such a way that women were prevented from accessing the political process until the rise of Algerian feminist organizations in the late 1900's that called for broader language interpretations. My research shows that the provision of legal resources by Algerian feminist groups has resulted in higher rates of education and alternate interpretations of Sharia, empowering women in the political arena. My data, including personal interviews I conducted and statistics collected on voting polls, show that women have reached high political offices in Algeria. They have served as Prime Ministers, run for the presidency and received a high percentage of the vote, and increased their political involvement. All this is a result of increased literacy and usage of alternate feminist interpretations of Islamic law. My research will include statistical data collected by the feminist organizations provided workshops on examining Islamic texts in the 1960's, as well as interviews and case studies of women that had fallen victim in between the jurisprudence of Islamic and French law. My intention is to demonstrate that Sharia law is often misinterpreted in today's media, and even fought against, which in turn has reaffirmed patriarchal views by avoiding open conversation rather than addressing the problem and providing resources on Islamic law interpretations.


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