from A dying colonialism


All these restrictions [on the woman] were to be knocked over and challenged by the national liberation struggle. The unveiled Algerian woman, who asumed an increasingly important place in revolutionary action, developed her personality, discovered the exalting realm of responsibility. The freedom of the Algerian people from then on became identified with woman’s liberation, with her entry into history. This woman who, in the avenues of Algeris or of Constantine, would carry the grenades or the submachine-gun charges, this woman who tomorrow would be outraged, violated, tortured, could not put herself back into her former state of mind and relive her behavior of the past; this woman who was writing the heroic pages of Algerian history was, in so doing, bursting the bounds of the narrow world in which she had lived without responsibility, and was at the same time participating in the destruction of colonialism and in the birth of a new woman.

The woman in Algeria, from 1955, began to have models. In Algerian society stories were told of women who in ever greater number suffred death and imprisonment in order that an independent Algeria might be born. It was these militant women who constituted the points of reference around which the imagination of Algerian feminine society was to be stirred to the boiling point. The woman-for-marrige progressively disappeared, and gave way to the woman-in-action. The young girl was replaced by the militant, the woman by sister.

The female cells of the F.L.N received mass memberships.



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