Human Rights

Algeria: Increase In Cases Of Violence Against Women In 2019

North Africa

Non-governmental organisations are recording cases of violence against women in Algeria, which has seen an increase over the past year.

Throughout 2019, the police is estimated to have recorded over 8,000 cases of violence committed against women. Indeed, this only includes cases where women have decided to report the violence.

Non-governmental organisations are playing an important role in recording the cases of violence against women and are working to provide psychological support to women who have suffered from abuse.

“We receive around 4-5 cases of beaten women daily. Our role is to provide psychological, social, and legal support to these women in order to try to reintegrate them into society and to help them regain their confidence”, stated Amina, a psychologist who is working for Nada, a non-government human rights organisation operating in Algeria.

According to the statistics provided by the police, over half of the cases of violence against women were committed within the family. A woman called Wardah who came to receive consultation at Nada spoke of her ordeal in the home:

“During 20 years of marriage, I was beaten daily and I am a mother of four children. I hated this life and could not take it anymore”.

There are several cases where women shy away from reporting the abuse they have been subjected to. However, women are legally protected against domestic violence under Algerian law. Most Algerian women are now aware that they can legally seek help if they are subject to abuse.

“Most of the time, women do not report that they have been attacked or violated. As for the increase in reports that we noticed this year, it may be due to the increased awareness of women. Now, the woman knows that there is a law that protects her and hence she is reaching out”, explained Shafiah Jaafari, head of the National Observation For the Protection Of Women’s Rights.

There is hope that the gradual democratisation of Algeria, which has been pushed forward by the Hirak protest movement for the past year, will also bode well for women’s rights in the country and encourage women to speak about their issues more openly.