Women's Citizenship: Between Bloodlines and Patriarchal Conditioning in Postcolonial Algeria
Gender Violence , Algerian Civil War , Gender and Nation , Postcolonialism , Citizenship , Family Code , Algerian Feminist Activism , Resistance , Political Comic Strips , Islam
My thesis maps a genealogy of patriarchal structures that underpin Algerian history, culture, and institutions between the war of independence and the 1991-2001 civil war. More specifically, I contextualize the ways in which patriarchal lineages and origin stories—and thus the symbolic and structural promises of the family—underpin political struggle. In mapping these symbolic lineages found at work in the promise of independence, and the ways in which they underpin political struggle, I demonstrate how the war of independence reified and redefined familial and patriarchal kinships within political and social structures. I suggest that historical and social conditionings found at work at these different historical moments have legitimated, to a certain extent, the domination over women and a normalization of violence against them. My thesis examines social and political discourses at four central moments in Algerian history. Firstly, in the constructions of the Algerian nation-state post independence in 1962; secondly, in the Islamic Renaissance of the 1980s and the creation of the Family Code; and in a third moment, I draw connections between the Family Code, violent political clashes of 1990s and the civil war that ensued. Finally, I analyze laws and discourses created after the civil war and the resistance movements that have continuously contested power and oppression throughout these different periods.