The Individual, the Family, and the Sexes
In the early 1990s, the tradition of strong family life still dominated most areas of the country. A basic social principle affecting both the individual and the family was a kind of division between the sexes that made gender one of the most important determinants of social status. Seclusion of women was not universally practiced, but men and women constituted largely separate societies in public life. In private they were bound by the same culture, values, traditions, and beliefs and the same closeness between generations found in other parts of the Middle East.
The War of Independence and the impetus given to education by the socialist governments of Ahmed Ben Bella (1962-65), Boumediene, and Bendjedid led to a change in the position of women in Algerian society. Girls were sent to school in large numbers; later, many continued their studies in university and then pursued professional lives, especially in urban centers.
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