Archives des luttes des femmes en Algérie

Launched in 2019, Archives des luttes des femmes en Algérie (Archives of Women’s Struggles in Algeria) is an independent initiative aiming to build a digital and open access archive of documents relating to Algerian feminist collectives and associations, mainly since independence in 1962.

Various paper documents and notes from the 1990s, including a drawing on a squared sheet: two students and an Arabic heading above them.

Archives des luttes des femmes en Algérie, a collection of Algerian women’s rights and feminist collectives and associations’ documents, dating from the 1990s, Algiers, 2020, photo: Hichem Merouche, courtesy Archives des luttes des femmes en Algérie

The project was born in the context of one of the strongest collective and political moments in the recent history of Algeria, namely the popular uprising known as the “Hirak.” The uprising broke out at the beginning of 2019 and the huge demonstrations lasted for over a year before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project focuses on documents produced by individuals and women’s groups in Algeria and in the diaspora, in the context of grassroots actions, campaigns, and mobilizations for women’s rights and gender equality. Women have left traces, both written and visual, from the declarations of Moudjahidat (women who fought in the national liberation army during the Algerian war of Independence (1954-1962)) in the 1960s and 1970s, the mobilizations against the Personal Status Law – or “Code de la famille” in French ¬– in the 1970s and 1980s, up to the actions of the first approved associations from 1989 and into the 1990s, and contemporary feminist groups. They have claimed their place by producing declarations, minutes of meetings, calls for demonstrations, posters, periodicals, leaflets, drawings, and photographs. However, this history and these traces remain little known, inaccessible and, consequently, invisible.
By meeting the producers and holders of these documents, and by sharing their stories and digitized documents with a wide audience, Archives des luttes des femmes wishes to participate in re-establishing the link between the struggles of the past and the present, and to participate in the narrative of these struggles.
Founded by Awel Haouati, Archives des luttes des femmes en Algérie also includes Saadia Gacem and Lydia Saïdi. The functioning of the project is collective and aided by contributions from several people, including feminist militants, researchers, and students, among others.

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