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The Kabyle Woman

    In our ancient customs, the Amazigh woman in general, and the Kabyle woman in particular, has been respected as a woman. The ancient Kabyle society was based on a strict division of roles, rights and duties between men and women. The masculine and feminine worlds were separated, but the woman was respected. The mistress of the house was considered the pillar of the family. The man attended things: hard work in the fields, getting to the market and managing money of the family. In principle, the woman stayed at home. She led the house and raised the children. She took care of the animals, made pottery and weaving. She also took over the tasks of collecting water and collecting wood. When they have free time, women have visited one another in their homes. The woman also held the role of mediator between the father and the children, who then does not have to get involved in discussions with their father. The latter was the leader of the family in the strict sense of the term: he is the guardian of his family, honor, but he can hardly ignore the advice of his wife. When the situation is particularly critical, we turn to women. When there was a severe drought, the Anzar procession, conducted to get rain, was their responsibility. If there was a fear of a curse in the village, it was the women who initiated Timzeght, the sacrifice of an ox.

    In ancient history, the Amazigh woman has always had an important role and are sometimes royal heads of state (the Kahina of the Aures Mountains and Fadma N Summer of Kabylia always inspiring the pride of the Kabyle people). Women also played an important role in tribal conflicts. Often, before the war, the tribes sent delegations of women who attempted a last negotiation, often with success.

    In the ancestral Kabyle tradition, women always commanded the greatest respect from their community. They participated in family decision-making, economic rights, education, etc. They have always retained the right to preserve the cultural traditions of their peoples. They have actively participated in important community decisions. However, the current situation shows that she is far from being respected with her legitimate rights; she is attacked in her daily life verbally, physically, symbolically, psychologically, etc. Women still suffer from forced marriages which become basically the norm in the Kabyle community. In Islam the woman has the right to have a share of inheritance but such right had been taken away hundreds of years ago.So,it is time to face reality in the face of certain values called kabyles honor (nif, tirougza, lherma ... etc).

  The Kabyle woman is known for her strong character and insubordination .She has never stopped fighting to be heard and respected. While she is faced with a traditional system that time has proved not to be egalitarian, she must fight even harder when faced with the Arab-Islamic Algerian regime. Indignant , since the day after the creation of Algeria's independence that the new state was so ungrateful to her and to the sacrifices she made during the liberation war. She learned to defend herself without recourse to the political legitimacy that the men of the reform regime of their alleged participation in this war. They no longer want to do armed violence regardless of the source of legitimacy it may be.   

   Despite all of these obstacles, the Amazigh women of Algeria, specifically Kabyle women, have gained ground in recent years, even if, there are lots things left to do to restore the women rights in accordance with their aspirations. It is very crucial to open a dialogue among institutions and civil society, including women’s associations in particular to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.

The Kabyle Woman (written by ARAB Sabrina)

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