The following is the inaugural statement of the National Movement of Algerian Feminists (NMAF).
On the re-birth of the women’s movement in Algeria over the last year, see al-M’s translation of Margaux Wartelle‘s summer 2019 interview with Wissem Zizi.
The National Movement of Algerian Feminists
We, women of Algeria and feminists, came together on the occasion of our second national meeting, held in Oran (Wahrān) over 17–19 October 2019, as a national feminist movement rooted in de-colonial struggles and opposition to both imperialism and capitalism. We emphasise again our commitment to a democratic Algeria, based on social justice and inclusive equality for every layer of society.
We restate our opposition to all forms of discrimination against women and we proclaim our opposition to the Family Code, which ensures the continuation of women’s oppression . We call for its abolition and the introduction of civil and equal laws; we are active against all social practices which aim to reduce the freedom and advancement [رقي] of women.
We strongly condemn the attempt of the ruling authority to submit our national wealth and sovereignty to the interests of multinational corporations — the schemes expressed in the draft Finance Law 2020 and the draft Hydrocarbon Law aim to sell our lands and that which is beneath its soil, and endanger the futures of generations to come.
We strongly oppose the 12 December election, which has been imposed by the non-patriotic authorities, as rejected by the people.
We call on all women concerned with this struggle to continue mobilising wherever they are, to actively contribute to realising these demands, and to join us towards unifying our struggles.
 Margaux Wartelle of the Marseille-based CQFD explains the Code as follows:
“Established in 1984, the Family Code is heavily criticised by many Algerian feminist associations. Dubbed the ‘Code of Infamy’, it keeps the woman as a legal minor for life, passing from the tutelage of the father to that of the husband. In 2005, a reform allowed some adjustments: polygamy became subject to the ‘preliminary consent’ of the first wife; marriage by proxy (which allowed forced marriages) was abolished; and the woman can henceforth remain in the family accommodation with the children, in case of separation.”