The changing role, and rights, of women in Algeria and the Arab world were the central issues of the Third Congress of the National Union of Algerian women which began on Monday (1 April).
GV Conference Hall.
GV Women mopping floors, PAN TO womens' union members.
GV Congress poster
GV Women's delegates seated.
GV Boumedienne enters hall and is applauded. (in dark suit)
SV Women applauding.
GV PAN Boumedienne walks to dais, shakes hands with chairwoman.
SV Women seated.
SCU President speaks.
GV President speaking.
SCU Mme. Boumedienne listons.
CU Women delegates listening. (5 shots)
GV President addrosses audience.
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Background: The changing role, and rights, of women in Algeria and the Arab world were the central issues of the Third Congress of the National Union of Algerian women which began on Monday (1 April).
The four-day conference was attended by 650 women delegates from Algeria, other Arab countries and several other developing nations in Africa, Asia and South East Asia. Algerian women won political equality following the War of Independence with France, but still lag far behind their menfolks in social rights. Women's rights in Algerian Society are now being reviewed by the government which has been preparing a new family code for the past four years. The code is expected to define the legal position of women in a country where polygamy still exists, divorce is often a mere formality for men, although repudiation alone is no longer legal officially, and succession rights favour men in relation to their sisters.
Opening the four-day conference at the seaside Palais des Nations in Algiers, algerian President Houari Boumedienne conceded there was still opposition int he country to women's emancipation. President Boumedienne said the Code of Laws now being prepared would help in that emancipation but there cold be no overnight change in centuries-old traditions. He said the evolution of women must be balanced and progressive. Referring to the old Algerian custom of women wearing veils over their faces which is still practiced in many areas, President Boumedienne said Algerian women must always be among the first Arab women in moral qualities, protecting themselves not with veils but with their moral education.