The impact of the Code de la famille on Algerian women has been felt for 27 years and criticism of it is based on is supposed adherence to Sharī’ah. This is not an adequate assessment of this legal document or its amendments. It is a more complex issue that involves the attempt of society to re-define its identity as Algerian and Islamic after independence. In attempting to establish Algerian women’s identity there was a shift from fearless independent combatants who moved among men during the struggle for independence to a space for women as strictly wives and mothers within the context of the home. The analysis is based mainly on the Code de la famille as well as the Qur’ān and it demonstrates that is not exclusively based in elements of Sharī’ah but rather a patriarchal framework supplemented by elements that are not truly Islamic.

Note on the Author

Teresa Camacho de Abes is Comparative Literature (Spanish, French, and Italian) graduate of UC Berkeley and currently graduate student of Islamic Studies. She is a translator, writer and critic of books of art, religion and politics of al-Andalus, Algeria, Iran, Turkey and Lebanon based in Los Angeles.