This study raises three questions to better comprehend the crisis women face in Algeria today: how are the state and the opposition groups addressing and defining women’s contemporary status, what is the link between women’s status and violence against them, and what are the tactics both of resistance and accommodation that Algerian women are using to survive in such a context? Throughout this study, the term “Islamic Fundamentalists” refers to movements and people in Algeria who use the “recovery” of early principles of the Ideal Muslim Community to develop their idea of a future Islamic “social order,” with the ultimate desire of achieving political power, often using violent means. This study discusses the general characteristic of these movements and the surge of political Islam in post-independence Algeria. This study investigates how violence—or the threat thereof—has become acceptable as a legitimate instrument to control women and force them to conform to a vision of an “Ideal Islamic Society.” As this report states, this type of violence, unlike state violence, is exclusively perpetuated by members of militant Islamist movements.
Hessini, Leila. 1997. Living on a Fault Line: Political Violence Against Women in Algeria [in Arabic]. Cairo: Population Council.