Two women making changes in Algeria

Louisa Hanoun and Khalida Messaoudi are two Algerian women making a great change in Algeria by struggling against many backward traditions. Both women are idols for many women and young people with their stances and struggle.

News Center- Louisa Hanoune was born in Chekfa, Jijel Province, on April 7, 1954. She was the first woman in her family to go to school. She completed secondary school and went on to obtain her bachelor's degree before joining the air transport sector. Even though her father opposed it, she studied law at the University of Annaba. She advocates the right of girls and women to education.

She was elected as a member of parliament

Known for her struggles for women's and workers' rights, Louisa Hanoune was imprisoned by the government several times prior to the legalization of political parties in 1988. She was jailed soon after she joined the Trotskyist Social Workers Organization in 1981 and again after the 1988 October Riots. She is one of the founders of the Workers' Party, which was founded in 1990. She was elected Secretary-General of the party in October 2005. She was elected as a member of parliament along with three of her friends in the 1997 parliamentary election. Her first bid for the 1999 presidential election was rejected by the Constitutional Council. In the 2004 presidential election, she became the first female candidate in the entire Arab world to run for president but she didn’t win because of the mentality saying that women could not run the country. She became a candidate again in the 2009 and 2014 presidential elections; however, she didn’t win the elections due to the same mentality. But her strong stance becomes a hope for the next generations.

In September 2019, she was imprisoned for political reasons. At the beginning of 2020, after a judicial appeal, her sentence was reduced and she is now free and keeps struggling.

Struggle against backward traditions

Khalida Messaoudi, also known as Khalida Toumi, is an Algerian politician and a feminist activist. She was born on March 13, 1958, in Ain-Bassam, Bouira, in the north of Algeria. She grew up in a noble family, where her father was a sheikh in a rural area, and she received her primary and intermediate education in her hometown, Ain Bassam. The great plastic artist Abdel Moneim El Sehraoui was her teacher of Arabic.

Then, she entered the University of Algiers in 1977 to pursue a degree in mathematics. After graduating from the École Normale Supérieure, she taught mathematics until 1993. In 1997, she became a candidate to run for the parliamentary election. She, who has struggled against backward traditions ignoring women, has also struggled against the Algerian family law. She joined the Workers' Party, led by Louisa Hanoune, and served as president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Women's Rights. She, then, joined the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) party. She served as the Minister of Communication and Culture between 2002 and 2014. She was arrested during the Algerian anti-corruption protests in 2019.