On March 8 each year, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. Recall that, on 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/134, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 25 November as “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” and invited Governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to organize on that day activities designed to raise awareness of the problem.
It is a rallying cry, an opportunity to reflect and move towards gender equality and empowerment for all girls and women. In this context, and more precisely, our analysis is closely linked to the place of women in society, which is increasingly called upon to perform different functions in the economic, social and cultural spheres as well as in different political responsibilities.
1.-If work is at the heart of the construction of society, it is particularly central to the consolidation of the autonomy of the individual, especially the promotion of the situation of women as persons and as than citizen. Integrating women into the world of work implies a framework that is also adapted to customs. Social science research often asserts that the development of a society is measured by the degree of involvement of its women. The emergence of women in the social and political space, the question of women’s entrepreneurship should be posed within the framework of the problem of development and the general transformation of society, being within the crossroads of the multidisciplinarity between the psychology and the sociology of work.
2- The first thesis, related to the problematic of development, is that which considers that the arrival of the first contingents of women in the world of work is the starting point of an evolutionary and irreversible movement that can only change consciousness. that women have of themselves, those who work as those who do not work, and constitutes a major asset in the conquest of the social and political space. According to this thesis, it is women who work, whatever the nature of the activity, who are most interested in social and political life, who vote more and more autonomously. It is among them also that we find the highest percentage of satisfied women, the income, mainly wage of women, the massive schooling of girls constituting factors of change in sex relations in a society which had no known as the work of peasant women.
3 – The second thesis is based on a criticism of the categories used by the National Statistical Office, firstly contesting the progress of female work, calling into question in its work the thesis of emancipatory work from a theoretical analysis overall relationship between paid work and domestic work process. According to this approach, the state project of development and mobilization of the society of the 70s has, if not deliberately, excluded women by assigning them priority to a process of domestic work resulting from the destruction of the old forms of production and production. the separation between the production and reproduction space. The industrialization model implemented in Algeria inevitably translates into a very low level of women’s wages, confined to large cities. The expulsion of women from the productive system is completed within the latter by a tendency away from production. Or again: “the most obvious tendency is their outright expulsion from production, employment and more generally from the social field”. The conclusion is that female employment, “derisory and marginal”, has yet another negative effect. It introduces a split between the working minority and the majority of housewives in traditional roles whose patriarchal norms would be strengthened.
4-The third thesis, based on surveys at the level of public enterprises, is that the “liberating work” of the woman would be a myth, not a matter of an individual decision but of a group project and that the confinement at the factory is the strict equivalent of confinement at home. This vision denies that work can be a factor of liberation, or even of change, because the proper socio-economic function of the female wage is subverted and reintegrated into a symbolic logic peculiar to the traditional society, the possibility of economic independence being neutralized. by the logic of domination.
5. – The fourth thesis, more recent and, it seems to me, more realistic, tries to make a synthesis between these different approaches integrating the psychosociologists’ analyzes and the duality of the Algerian formal / informal society.
The arrival of women in the world of work, limited but not marginal, has produced an irreversible movement of aspiration to work, to the remunerated activity and to what it implies, that is to say a form or another one of autonomy, although there are resistances to change. This movement, as a result of the new economic orientations and the disengagement of the State, has given rise to an unprecedented development of informal work, which takes a wide variety of forms, involving a much larger number of women than the number of women workers declared. All kinds of self-employment activities are developing and are expected to develop. Salaried work has produced profound and irreversible social and cultural effects.
They question the problem of a kind of inertia of practices and representations in the world of women as a whole, emphasizing that with the massive schooling of girls, work is the essential parameter of change and this change has an impact on those who do not work. Although this approach highlights the social knowledge that these women acquire and the multiple ways in which they use it by combining it with materials drawn from cultural heritage to build a positive self-image as both a woman and a worker. may be subject to manifestations of reprobation because of socio-cultural resistance. According to this approach, with the evolution of the Algerian family that does not live in isolation but influenced by local and international environment factors (television, Internet …), we must avoid the stereotype that the family, the place of the tradition, imprisons individuals, and is always a brake on autonomy and change, a family that can push its female members to change because it derives material and symbolic benefits. Conversely, a woman who makes individual choices in confronting her family, does not detach from it, which means of course that there can be on one side tradition and the other innovation. These different researches highlight the connivance between mothers and daughters to counter a decision or to argue another, a whole set of strategies that are what some sociologists call “informal feminism”.
6.-From surveys we can note five (05) observations.
-First observation: in the job market, more and more women graduates and experienced are looking for a job with benefits and career development prospects.
-Second observation: Violence against women has reached alarming proportions in recent years. The phenomenon affects more and more women who are often victims of violence committed by the husband, father, brother or even the child.
-Third observation: a tiny portion of women working in Algeria occupy positions of responsibility.
-Fourth observation: their level of experience varies according to the nature of the profession.
Fifth observation: during the search for a job, more and more women are confronted with multiple difficulties of social (discrimination) and professional (lack of evolution) .. Indeed, the difficulties that hinder evolution Women’s professional careers are linked to discrimination in the awarding of promotions. Sixth observation: there are also the criteria of size and type of company that constitute an important element in the selection of the position of their choice.
7.-What conclusion to draw? Our girls and women need the utmost consideration to reconcile modernity and our authenticity. I consider that the promotion of women, and especially of work as a whole and women’s entrepreneurship in particular, as the cement and vitality of any society. In the Phenomenology of Law, Hegel was referring to the three fundamental strata: the Family, the Corporation, the Universal. The great German philosopher Hegel had, perhaps voluntarily or involuntarily, forgotten to mention: the Matrix of Life (the Mother) and the State (the rules, the functions of sovereign, the allocation of collective resources). But the basic matrix, the mother of the matrices, the Central Core, El-Oum Ed-Dounia, the root of the tree, the root of the Tree of Life, is our mother.
Dr. Abderrahmane MEBTOUL