The book presents the first English edition of Hubertine Auclert's Arab Women in Algeria which offers a unique picture of Algerian society in late 19th century. Hubertine Auclert (1848-1914) was one of the foremost militants for women's political rights in France from the mid-1870s. She lived in Algeria from 1888 to 1892, where she investigated the customs and traditions that defined the condition of women. She witnessed both the exploitation of women and that of the colonized people; in doing so, she drew a picture of colonial Algerian society. While women were mistreated by men (sale of prepubescent girls into marriage, forced marriage, repudiation permitted only to men, polygamy), Arab men were mistreated by the colonial administration and excluded from the government of Algeria. She denounced the contradictions and hypocrisy of French justice, which often enforced, for their own interest, the "anomalies" of Muslim law in contradiction with French law.The last chapter of the book comprises of several striking anecdotes that illustrate the author's theoretical views. Jacqueline Grenez Brovender is a freelance translator and a former lecturer in French at Tufts University. Denise Brahimi-Chapuis taught in French and Algerian universities about the relationship between France and the Maghreb and its effect on women.
1 Women in 19th century in Algeria, 2 Feminism, Islam and the Women’s Issue, 3 Arabs and Colonists
“Brovender’s translation of Auclert’s ideas (plus the helpful introduction by Denise Brahimi from the French edition) adds a valuable resource to the discussion of many French and Arab topics, from the wearing of traditional clothing to the schooling of Muslim girls.”Steven Hause, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Washington University in St. Louis “Tender, tough, touching and fearless, Hubertine Auclert will remain forever as one of the icons of international feminism. This book will enlighten all fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences: from French and Colonial Cultural Studies to History and Anthropology. A must!”Brigitte Lane, Professor Emerita, Tufts University