Algeria: Woman Runs for President for First Time

A woman is running for president for the first time in Algeria’s history. Louisa Hanoun has used her candidacy to speak out against Algeria’s current discriminatory family law.

The current law forces women to seek approval from a male relative to marry and makes polygamy legal. For over two decades women’s rights groups have been campaigning to change the current family code to treat women and men equally. A leading Algerian women’s rights advocate, Akila Ouared Abdelmoumene, said, “In our country a woman can become President of the Republic, but she has no control over her private life,” reports Reuters.

Hanoune spent six months in jail in the 1980s for her fight against the National Liberation Front that was the ruling party at the time. She currently has 8 percent of the vote, according to Reuters.

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Reuters 4/7/04; Middle East Online 4/7/04

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