Algeria Society

Algeria Society


Proportion of literate adults: 70%

Major religion: Islam (Sunni), 99%

Urban population (2014): 70%

Life expectancy (female / male): 73/77 years (estimated 2011)

Gender Inequality Index: 85 of 155 (2014)

Number of births: 2.8 per woman (2012)

Infant mortality: 25/1000 live births

Gender ratio

The war of independence against France had called the gender roles into question, as women were also heavily involved – the common goal of independence pushed the traditional religious differences between the sexes into the background. With the rise of Islamism, however, the legal and actual situation of women deteriorated again.

In the course of the emergence of Islamization, the Algerian parliament passed the ” Code da la famille ” (some also called the “code de l’infamie”, law of vulgarity) in an act of almost anticipatory obedience to the Islamists on June 9, 1984 assigns a subordinate position to women. It is specified therein

  • that the husband can divorce his wife at any time and cast her away without having to justify himself
  • that he does not have to pay for the rejected woman or the children they have together and that he has to look after them (if he does not want to keep the children, otherwise they will fall to him) and that the common domicile belongs to him, so the woman has to go away and possibly become homeless
  • that he has the right to polygamy, according to Islamic interpretation up to 4 women
  • that the wife may only leave the Algerian territory with the written permission of the husband (“autorisation de sortie”)

In 2005 the code was slightly modified. Polygamy was allowed, but formally it depended on the consent of the first wife. The children together stayed with their mother and the husband was obliged to look after them. In addition, the validity of a marriage depended on the approval of the Wali (provincial governor).

After protests and an intense public discussion, further modifications were added: Polygamy was further restricted and now depends on the sterility of the first (or second) wife. In addition, the husband also needs a judicial permit after hearing the first wife. This means that polygamy is reduced to an exceptional status in the case of childlessness, but the Islamists can formally claim the validity of the Sharia. The husband’s approval for the wife to travel abroad is no longer necessary.

Other discriminatory regulations remained in force, e.g. that an unbelieving descendant of a believing Muslim parent (regardless of whether male or female) is not entitled to inheritance (to prevent children from converting to a religion other than Islam). In addition, the children of a non-believing widow (foreigner), whose husband was a practicing Muslim, are not clearly Muslim themselves and may therefore be disinherited, so that the non-Muslim widow must convert to Islam as soon as possible in order not to endanger the inheritance claims of their children.

According to some lawyers, the “code de la famille” could also be unconstitutional in its entirety (” anticonstitutionalité “).

Housing and supply

According to internetsailors, the housing market in Algeria, especially in Algiers, is a provider market; Europeans have to accept absurdly excessive rents in some cases. For safety reasons, areas and neighborhoods that are considered unsafe are not recommended; your own motor vehicle should not be left on the road permanently; a secure parking space is very useful.

In Algiers, the residential areas in the Hydra and El Biar areas are preferred because it is safer there in the sense that no spontaneous “émeutes”, ie riots, are to be feared, which are more likely to occur in the “quartiers chauds” in the center near the sea. In addition, these quarters are not near the sea, but higher up on the slope and are therefore cooler and better ventilated. The rents can vary greatly depending on requirements, but for families, especially with children, only houses (villas) that are rarely available for less than 3000 euros a month are considered, and sometimes rents are over 5000 euros. As an individual, especially with a reduced need for comfort, it is also possible to find objects for less than 1000 euros per month.

In addition, there are few parks and green spaces in Algiers and the other cities. The “ jardin d’essai ” – a location for Tarzan films because of its jungle ambience – is a notable exception here, but is appropriately guarded and cared for. In addition, the green areas are usually poorly maintained and often neglected; Entering them can even be dangerous due to the sharp rise in urban crime.

In addition, many offices and workplaces are not in the city center, but in Hydra or El Biar, according to the German embassy, the Goethe Institute, GIZ and the German-Algerian Chamber of Commerce. Road traffic in Algiers is chronically congested; The proximity of the home to the workplace is therefore an important criterion for quality of life.

The rental agreement usually has to be certified by a notary, as the landlord needs this certification for the tax (although the rent certified by the notary does not always correspond to the rent actually paid).

As for supplies, there are numerous supermarkets, small superettes and local markets. In our opinion, fresh food, fruit and vegetables, are available in good quality at the local markets; fresh fish is not always available. There is a strong demand for meat-based food in Algeria: poultry (turkey) because of its relative affordability and then mutton, lamb and beef or veal. In the “better” districts, the hygienic standard of meat sales is in principle satisfactory.

Alcohol is sold in special shops that are almost exclusively run by Kabyle, except in the month of Ramadan – when alcohol sales are suspended.

Algeria Society