This is a current issue that Maghreb women are working on, especially in Algeria.
Since 2002, a new reflection emerged to look at, and determine, what prevented women from accessing political and decision-making positions. For Algerian women, although they participated in the liberation war of Algeria and in the fight against terrorism, their number in the parliament does not exceed 6%.
What are the reasons that prevent Algerian women from accessing political and decision-making positions?
In Algeria, after having eliminated the use of attitudes, religion, culture, and family code which would have been used as barriers to the participation of women, it seemed that women’s representation was the responsibility of political parties that were its vector, but which did nothing to encourage women’s participation.
Misogyny is what some of them have put forth in the parliament elections in 2007, which registered the election of 30 women. Many parties, including the FLN, the RND and the MSP (Islamic party) had their numbers of elected women decrease or even disappear, at the time when women, with the collaboration of the CIDDEF, have initiated a debate on improving women’s participation in politics and the means to use to achieve it.
The group of women who worked on the study done by the CIDDEF (representation of women in the Maghreb and the memorandum to the republic’s President to grant a quota of 30%), initiated a debate on the temporary measures advocated by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination. Political parties responded by emphasizing the constitutional principle of equality, arguing that it would be endangered if the quota was allowed.
These are the same parties who had the number of their female activists decrease and even disappear. Only the party of Louiza Hanoune, the PT, called for equal opportunities, which she implemented, and had its number of female deputies increase. She has shown by her attitude and policy implementation that the will of political parties is necessary and should be implemented.
The parties are the vectors of representation of women in politics. The Algerian experience has shown that by the unfavorable behavior of those party officials towards this commitment. The constitutional amendment made in 2009 had the item 31a address the political rights of women and introduce the concept of quota to be organized in an organic law. This is being prepared.
To all those who question this article for intervening in an electoral context, our answer is: for the women activists that we are, this is a way to snatch our rights in the context in which we live. Furthermore, this constitutional article is necessary and serves as a legal basis for the organic law not to be rejected by the Constitutional Council for opposing the constitutional principle of equality.
Despite its importance, the political will is not enough and must be accompanied by, or contained within, a law.
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