With the following declaration, the Algerian Women for Change towards Equality respond to attacks against their weekly bloc the week previous.
Al-M‘s translation of the group’s inaugurating, 16 March declaration is here.
April 7 Declaration
The declaration follows the violent attacks that women of the feminist bloc were exposed to on Friday 29 March in the capital, the ensuing serious threats against the physical and psychological well-being of many women (including women outside the bloc), and, in addition, the online attacks and harassment that continue up to the time of writing.
With regards to the Friday 5 April protest, Algerian Women for Change Towards Equality decided to maintain the feminist bloc without raising banners, in order to avoid any form of violence or political appropriation, so that we are not used as an excuse to disturb the peaceful image of the popular movement.
On 5 April the feminist bloc began between 12.30 pm and 13.30 pm without incident, in front the main entrance of Algiers I university in the capital, and provided a space for genuine discussion and dialogue between men and women protesters, after which we joined the larger protest.
Algerian Women for Change Towards Equality announce the following:
- We have not abandoned our legitimate demands for social justice.
- We condemn any form of violence directed towards protesters, especially women, whether during or after the demonstrations.
- We are not the exclusive representatives of the feminist movement in Algeria, and therefore cannot be held accountable for the activities of other groups, including the group responsible for distributing leaflets concerning the Family Code.
- We reiterate that our initiative intends neither to represent nor to be the voice of all Algerian women, but rather to advocate for a society that values and strengthens equality between citizens.
- We reiterate that our civil, national, and independent initiative is a product of the will of a group of women, the majority of whom are militants who do not belong to any organisation, whether at the national or international level.
- We are aware that the current regime has tried and still tries to politicise social issues to create division between the opposition movements.
- We reject every accusation against us of dividing and splitting the unity and cohesion of the popular movement — we remain alert to this.
- We salute the solidarity and support of all types that we have received from women and men who have condemned violence, and those have joined our rally.