Women In Algeria

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Interesting (if somewhat confusing in places) NYT article here. Below is an excerpt:

… Women make up 70 percent of Algeria’s lawyers and 60 percent of its judges. Women dominate medicine. Increasingly, women contribute more to household income than men. Sixty percent of university students are women, university researchers say.

In a region where women have a decidedly low public profile, Algerian women are visible everywhere. They are starting to drive buses and taxicabs. They pump gas and wait on tables.

Although men still hold all of the formal levers of power and women still make up only 20 percent of the work force, that is more than twice their share a generation ago, and they seem to be taking over the machinery of state as well.

“If such a trend continues,”said Daho Djerbal, editor and publisher of Naqd, a magazine of social criticism and analysis,”we will see a new phenomenon where our public administration will also be controlled by women.”

The change seems to have sneaked up on Algerians, who for years have focused more on the struggle between a governing party trying to stay in power and Islamists trying to take that power.

Those who study the region say they are taken aback by the data but suggest that an explanation may lie in the educational system and the labor market.

University studies are no longer viewed as a credible route toward a career or economic well-being, and so men may well opt out and try to find work or to simply leave the country, suggested Hugh Roberts, a historian and the North Africa project director of the International Crisis Group.

But for women, he added, university studies get them out of the house and allow them to position themselves better in society.”The dividend may be social rather than in terms of career,”he said. …

I don’t really understand why university studies are “no longer viewed as a credible route toward a career or economic well-being” if university studies are launching women into professions like law and medicine and into “public administration” but in any event it sounds like good news.

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to Women In Algeria

  1. bob coley jr says:

    let us hope this trend continues. It would sad if this advance were somehow thwarted by any forces resisting the change, I suspect, as the benefits acrue, there will be no turning back the hands of time.