Political-social movements: revolutionary: Algeria (decolonization)

Natalya Vince

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Between 1954 and 1962, Algerian women participated in the armed struggle against French colonial rule in massive numbers. They provided logistical support for rural and urban combatants, served as nurses in guerrilla units in the mountains, and participated in assassinations and bomb attacks in towns. Women were also subject to a “battle for hearts and minds.” Both the French state and the National Liberation Front (FLN, Fr. Front de Libération Nationale, Ar. Jabhat al-Tahrir al-Watani) sought to convince women to come over to their side, and also used carefully constructed claims about “the Algerian woman”—as being “civilized” by the French or “liberated” by the FLN—to win over international opinion. The widespread view that the war was a parenthesis of new roles and rights for women which ended in 1962 requires nuance, taking into account the social and political resources available to different groups of women on independence, and women’s willingness or reluctance to be defined as representatives “of women.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures
EditorsSuad Joseph
Number of pages18
Publication statusEarly online - 29 Nov 2018

Publication series

NameEncyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures Online
ISSN (Electronic)1872-5309


  • Algeria
  • France
  • colonialism
  • anti-colonialism
  • nationalism
  • military conflict
  • psychological warfare
  • propaganda
  • international lobbying
  • veiling
  • gender relations
  • Muslim personal status
  • socialism
  • Family Code
  • Algerian War of Independence
  • Algerian War
  • al-thawra al-jazāʾiriyya


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