Saturday, May 14, 2016


 Since the year 200, the pattern of Algerian emigration as a whole has changed.16 Along with the traditional emigration of intellectuals and students, there is now increasing emigration of women: women represent 42 percent of the 4.5 million people who were born in Algeria and are today resident in France. As Figure 4 shows, Algerian women in France outnumber other female presences from the ENP area in the EU, with a sharp increase in numbers from the year 2000. This feminisation of migration in the Algerian context can be explained in the face of the changing configuration of mobility, which is no longer driven by strictly economic reasons but that is also a reflection of the desire to pursue other goals, within a context of social mobility and cultural and economic transnational interconnections. Reasons for migrating may go beyond the simple need for work, but reflect the need to fulfil a variety of projects. Examples include university students who increasingly participate in scientific networks, members of civil society associations taking part into Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, but also women engaged with transnational trade circuits, such as trabendo, popularly called the “biznasiates,” that is the “business women”.17 Hocine Labdelaoui shows how Algerian women in France are increasingly taking on the role of reproducers of the Algerian national community living outside the national territory.18 This is part of a wider political attempt to promote a moral discourse that encourages the incorporation of the diaspora into the homeland and, thus, to increase their investments back home. Migrant women therefore have a pivotal role in the symbolic and physical reproduction of the nation’s identity and collectivity abroad. The reproduction of certain gender ideologies, and the perpetuation of specific gendered roles within the communities abroad, are then also part and parcel of keeping diasporas linked to their communities of origin and explain the contradictory gendered laws enacted by the Algerian government. For example, the government has eased patriarchal control over the migration of women by, for example, making sure that women no longer require the authorisation of their male guardian to leave the country. However, at the same time the Algerian state has kept the clause that fathers, not mothers, have to authorise a child’s passport registration, thus perpetuating the principle that citizenship rights are predominantly male prerogatives and enhancing the cultural construction of women as legal minors.
 The large number of Algerian women in France also reflects a dynamic and complex situation. On the one hand, it results from the classic pattern of reunification with a spouse who migrated earlier; on the other, this data reflects the increasing erosion of the patriarchal orders that limit women’s ability to exercise their desires and choices.

16 Hocine Labdelaoui, “Genre et migration, en Algérie”, in CARIM Notes d’analyse et de synthèse, No. 2011/12 (2011),
17 Ruba Salih, “The Relevance of Gender in/and Migration”, cit.
18 Hocine Labdelaoui, “Genre et migration, en Algérie”, cit.
19 Ali Mebroukine, “Migrations, genre et relations international. Le cas d’Algérie”, in CARIM Notes d’analyse et de synthèse, No. 2011/07 (2011), 1814/15592; Rafik Bouklia-Hassane, “La feminisation de l’immigration d’origine algé- rienne: Un état de lieux”, in CARIM Notes d’analyse et de synthèse, No. 2011/20 (2011),

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