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Amb. Derragui hosts reception to mark International Women’s Day of AlgeriaWith an attendance of some 200 Korean, international guests

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day of Algeria, Ambassador and Mrs. Mohammed El Amine Derragui hosted a reception at Hotel Banyan in Seoul on March 10, 2018.
The meeting was attended by an estimated 200 Korean and international dignitaries who included President Lee Bo-suk 21st Century International Creative Artists Association, Professor Yun eun-kyeong Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, President Anne K. Choe Seoul International Women’s Association, Journalist Thierry Laplanche of Korean Broadcasting System, and Producer Yun woo-mi of the same Broadcasting System.
Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Derragui stated, « After playing a key role during the National War of Liberation against colonialism, Algerian women participate actively to the management of the country’s affairs in all the domains.

Amb. Mohammed El Amine Derragui of Algeria delivers a speech on Women’s Rights in Algeria.

As part of the promotion of Algeria's image in South Korea and the strengthening of relations of friendship and cooperation between Algeria and South Korea, the Algerian Embassy in Seoul organized or took part in recent years in many cultural events. These activities concerned the different aspects of Algerian popular culture: cinema, music, crafts, gastronomy, tourism and fashion.
Regarding the Embassy's participation in events organized by other institutions in Seoul, we can mention the Bazaar of the Seoul City Council (held in May each year), the African Cultural Festival and the Global Tourism Photo Conference.
As for the events organized by the Embassy, they are many and varied: the weeks of the Algerian film (organized in partnership with the Korea Arab Society), the donation of traditional Algerian musical instruments to the Seongnam Cultural Foundation (December 16, 2015) and the Traditional Fashion Show presenting Algerian costumes at the Sookmyung Women University in Seoul (November 10, 2015) which saw the participation of a troop of Andalusian music and an exhibition of paintings and crafts.
Jointly with the Korean Culture Association, the Embassy of Algeria organized also an Algeria-Korea Cultural Program during the Global C-Festival in Seoul (May 2016); this program included: a joint Fashion Show (with the participation of an Algerian stylist Samir Kerzabi and Korean stylist), a classical music performance (Troupe El Meya of Oran) and a live performance of Arabic calligraphy by Redha Khouane.

Ambassador Mohammed El Amine Derragui(5th from left, front row) and Mrs. Chafika Derragui (left) pose with IYF students.

Besides, Algerian Culinary Days were organized which saw the presentation of the Algerian cuisine and gastronomy.
More recently, on March 10, 2018, on the occasion of International Women's Day, the Embassy organized a presentation on the role of women in Algerian society.
For his part, the Ambassador of Algeria presented lectures on Algeria at Hanyang University (21 March 2017, as part of the 2nd Seminar on Investment in Africa organized by this University) and, in partnership with the Korea Arab Society, at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Department of Middle East and Africa Studies, May 15, 2017).

Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Deragui:
On the occasion of the International Women Day (8 March), allow me first of all
the Embassy of Algeria in Seoul would like to highlight the role of the Algerian woman who has always been, at the right time, an example of abnegation and patriotism. After playing a key role during the National War of Liberation (1954-1962) against colonialism, Algerian women participate actively to the management of the country’s affairs in all the domains.

Ambassador Mohammed El Amine Derragui (right) and Mrs. Chafika Derragui

After accessing to important place in the ranks of education, health and justice in recent years, more and more women are turning to entrepreneurship, an area where their interest is gaining strength by the day. Indeed, Algerian woman contribution to the process of national renewal and reconstruction is highly significant.
The situation of women's rights in Algeria has made real progress in recent decades and is part of the broader context of the role of women as a driving force in the history of Algeria, indeed women played an important role during the war of national liberation between 1954 and 1962 and at independence, the high authorities of the country paid particular attention to the situation of women and girls in Algeria.
Women were a central element in the heroic struggle of the Algerian people against colonialism, and during the Algerian Revolution, women were equal to men in terms of mobilization and commitment. After independence, Algerian women were alongside their brothers, artisans of the national reconstruction work in all fields to build a new, proud and dignified Algeria.

IYF students perform a national Algerian ballet.

The epic struggle of Algerian women throughout history and up to the present day has always seen a firm determination on the part of the state to promote women's rights, particularly through the generalization of girls' education and which has led to the fact that women form the majority of university students these days. The efforts of the public authorities for the empowerment of women have had undeniable results: women with a strong presence in the sectors of education, health, justice and even within the security and defense forces.
The Algeria’s women empowerment policy proves to be a leading experience in the region and beyond. Thanks to the reforms engaged by H.E.M. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the Republic, Algeria made a huge progress in the field of promoting women rights and gender equality.

IYF students perform a national Algerian ballet.

The Algerian government always proudly reiterates its commitment to empowering women and promoting its status in the society. The Algerian Constitution and other legal fundamental texts consider women and men as equal and guarantee equality of access not only to education, healthcare and other traditional means of empowerment, but also to political and professional positions.
Today, the Algerian woman has a reinforced status in the political institutions of the country: during the last legislature, 32% of the members of the lower house of Parliament were women, one of the highest ratios in the Arab world and Africa. And more and more women have made themselves into positions of responsibility.
The situation of the Algerian woman is characterized by the equality in rights and duties in the political, economic, educational and cultural fields. This equality allowed the massive schooling of the girls in all the levels of education and conducted to more and more wide access to the professional life and to the political and economic responsibilities as well as to very high positions in the administration and the justice, besides the voting right and the wage equality, established since the independence. As an example, women represents in Algeria, more than 50 % of the university staff, more than 60 % of the medical staff, more than 30 % of judges and more than 55 % of journalists today. This trend is touching more and more professions.

IYF students holding Algerian national flag.

After investing in key sectors such as justice, health and education, Algerian women are now becoming entrepreneurs: in 2017, more than 143,000 women had a trade register.
The new Constitution adopted in March 2016 has made substantial progress for women's rights: Article 35 stipulates that the state must work to promote women's political rights by strengthening their access to representation in elected assemblies. For its part, Article 36 recognizes gender parity in the employment sector and promotes the role of women as managerial staff of institutions, administrations and public enterprises.
Public policies implemented by the state have all been implemented through the promotion of the gender approach and the empowerment of women.
The Family Code has been amended to align with the international treaties and conventions ratified by Algeria, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
An important amendment to the Nationality Code gave the Algerian woman the right to pass on her nationality to her children. As for the Penal Code, it provides important protection against certain offenses such as rape or harassment.
On the social dimension, the Government has instituted a fund to support divorced women who have children to protect them against all forms of violence and to safeguard the interest of the child. In the same way, a battery of measures has been implemented with the objective to eliminate all forms of violence against women, including in public places.
On March 8, 2007, the National Council for the Family and Women was inaugurated, composed of 50 ministerial representatives, public organizations and civil society. It is responsible for promoting and coordinating the dialogue aimed at strengthening the rights of women and children.
At the international level, Algeria signed the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1996 and fully implemented the objectives of Beijing Action Plan (1994-2015), which covers 12 goals pertaining to poverty, education, training, health, violence against women, their role in decision making and protection during armed conflicts.
Once again congratulations to all women present here and through them to all women in the Republic of Korea and in the world. Thank you for your kind attention.

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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