Algeria

Algeria is a country in Northern Africa in which four fifths is covered by the Sahara desert. It is the 10th largest country in the world. Algeria’s economy is mainly dependent on hydrocarbons. Algeria’s external debt is extremely low at about 2% GDP. Algeria’s population is estimated to be about 40.4 million mostly consisting of Arab-Berbers. Most Algerians live in the coastal areas and oases. 99% of Algerians are Muslims. Military service is compulsory for men between the ages of 19-30 years for a total of 12 months. Algeria has the largest military defense budget in Africa and has the second largest military in Africa.

Political Profile/Structure/System

In Algeria, the president is the head of state and the prime minister is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Parliament is bicameral; it consists of the People’s National Assembly and the Council of the Nation. According to the Economist, the military and other unelected civilians are the major powerbrokers in Algeria. They even make decisions on who should be president. The president is elected for a five year term and appoints the Prime Minister. Initially, there were term limits for the president. However, current President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has been president since 1999, removed the term limit in 2008.

Elections and Political Parties

There are more than 40 political parties in Algeria. There are two types of elections in Algeria- legislative elections and presidential elections. The voter turnout for legislative elections is usually less than 50%. In the legislative elections, the National Liberation Front has the majority percentage of the seats, which is 208 seats. The current president is a member of the National Liberation Front. Over the last two elections(2009 and 2014), he has won the presidential election with over 80% votes.

By the Numbers

In 2012 legislative elections, Algerian women occupied 30% of the seats. This was a first in the Arab countries. Women have a literacy rate of 73.1% as compared to that of men which is 87.2%
70% of Algerian lawyers are women. 60% of the judges are women. 65% of the students in University are women. According to the New York Times, women contribute to household income more than men

National Anthem

Participation and Inclusion

During the war for independence in 192, women fought as equals alongside men. Even after the war, women have maintained an active involvement in the development of a state. Compared to their neighboring countries, Algeria is a liberal country. Women can freely vote and participate in politics.