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Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML)

Algiers Algeria
February 2011
$2,684

Grant Description

In February 2011 UAF received a request from WLUML regarding an international response to the upcoming demonstrations in Algeria. WLUML is an international solidarity network that provides information, support and a collective space for women whose lives are shaped, conditioned or governed by laws and customs said to derive from Islam. Though large demonstrations are planned to occur in Algeria, WLUML expected that they would not receive as much press coverage as similar events in Egypt and Tunisia. In addition, WLUML anticipated that the Algerian government might respond with violence, especially towards women protestors. To ensure appropriate international attention to the situation in Algeria and document any human rights violations against women during the protests, WLUML requested UAF funds to send an Algerian woman human rights journalist based in the United States to Algiers to act as an international observer.

Impact Report

With UAF funds, the journalist traveled to Algeria to observe a series of pro-democracy demonstrations in February 2011. The journalist documented the arrests of prominent women’s rights advocates, as well as the treatment of protestors as they experienced harassment, police beatings and arrest. She was also able to conduct interviews with various women human rights defenders to gather information on the situation in Algeria, the government’s response to women’s rights activism and the democracy movement generally. As a result of her trip, the journalist produced some of the only firsthand English accounts of the marches in Algeria; and her articles appeared in the Guardian, Al Jazeera, the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and the Times of India. WLUML notes that the trip ""...made a significant contribution to spreading awareness about what was happening in Algeria, and the risks taken by women human rights defenders who participated in the protests.