Algeria – Ban on divorced mothers for custody of children on remarriage.

Article 66 of the Family Code deprives a divorced woman in Algeria of the custody of her children if she remarries. In Algeria, Article 66 of the Family Code deprives a divorced woman of the custody of her children if she remarries “with a person not related to the child by a prohibited relationship”. Despite the taboos surrounding their situation, more than 12,000 divorced Algerian women have decided to break the silence.

Under Algerian law, when a woman gets divorce the custody of the child remains with her despite if it’s her decision or even if it’s her spouse decision. But the moment she remarries she loses her child’s custody, while the father of the child can remarry as without any conditions and without his custody rights being affected.

The women’s rights activists continue to center around the family law and have been struggling to reform the sexist legislation for decades and continues to do so. The law is structured around the Muslim identity affirmed by Islamists and the struggle for equality by the women’s associations.

The Algerian Family law is framed in sexism proclaiming women to be minors under the law, as it defines their existence only as daughters, mothers or wives. It institutionalizes polygamy, preventing women from arranging their own marriage contracts unless represented by a matrimonial guardian and also as per Article 39 making it law and a legal duty for Algerian women to obey their husbands. For women it’s impossible to obtain divorce or it is made a most difficult. It is obtained in most cases by giving up the claim for alimony, which is termed as “khol’a”. Khol’a  is the problematic ransom that women must pay for their freedom, just like slaves’. The father’s consent and authorisation are required for the most basic needs of a child, including enrolling him or her at school and approving his or her participation in school activities.

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