Women in the Untied States enjoy a high standard of living that is often unparalleled in the developing world. Although Western women still face challenges when it comes to gender roles and their position in the workplace, the rights that have been granted to women are among the most notable accomplishments for women in the international community. It is for this reason that when the issue of women's rights comes into question, the rights and freedoms that women have achieved in the Western world are often used as a model for the development of women's rights in foreign countries.Looking across the broad scope of the international community, it is evident that women in various developing nations are attempting to move their societies toward a more liberated environment in which women enjoy the same freedoms and privileges as men. Interestingly, however there are some notable instances in which women are not fighting for liberation or more rights. In these instances women are fighting to maintain the status quo, keeping a patriarchal social system in which men rule and women follow carefully constructed social roles. Such is the case in the country of Algeria.
[...] Considering first the history of women in Algeria up until the beginning of the war in 1954, Amrane-Minne (1999) notes the following: In 1954, Algerian women were totally excluded from public life. Nearly all illiterate, with only among them able to read and write, they did not have access to the world of work except in the sectors that did not demand professional qualifications. [ ] There were no more than 6 women doctors and only 25 teachers at secondary schools, but none in higher education. [...]
[...] Although the issue of women's rights was viewed as secondary in the immediate aftermath of the war—even women realized that Algeria needed to establish a working government and economy in order to survive—because of their service in the war, women were granted the right to vote and hold political office. However, the issue of their status in social discourse was still considerably vague (Bennoune, 1995). This issue was further confounded when Algerian leaders began considering the development of the country's national identity. [...]
[...] While Amrane- Minne notes that this number may seem insignificant overall, she does note that this number is similar to the number of European women who actively participated in World War II. In addition to fighting on the frontlines, Algerian women also served as hosts for resistance fighters. The role of women during the war became so important that women were the only individuals trusted to help the resistance fighters. Women served as nurses and support personnel for those in charge of military operations. [...]
[...] While women had been able to garner more rights than they had available before the war, further changes in the internal development of Algeria would have an impact of the status of women. According to Bennoune, in the early 1980s, social conditions in Algeria began to deteriorate as the government struggled to keep its nationalist identity and carve out a niche for the country in the international community. “Throughout the 1980s a severe social crisis, aggravated by the collapsing economic situation, engulfed every aspect of Algerian life. [...]
[...] Current Status of Women's Rights in Algeria Clearly, the adoption of the Family Code has had a detrimental impact on the ability of women to assert their rights. However, as Knauss (1987) reports, since 1965 activists have fought to create a Family Code that would limit the rights of women. Although the Code serves to limit the power of women, many women in Algeria have support the creation and adoption of this legislation. According to Knauss many women saw the adoption of the Code as necessary for improving the basic fabric of modern life and reducing the changes in society that have been brought about by modernity. [...]
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