Much of the debate around women’s rights in legal systems focuses on the increase of protection as a legal mechanism for approaching and guaranteeing gender equality. Yet, what extensive or comprehensive analysis has been done on how effective such laws are when applied? This thesis discusses the extent to which a feminist legal theory, separate and distinct from the patriarchal legal system, can demonstrate how an Islamic or Napoleonic order is conceptually another male rationality. While one could possibly identify inefficiencies of laws proclaiming equality and protection for women, the context of the question is inevitably entrenched in the very patriarchal legal system itself and gendered power relations. Thus, any proper inquiry requires analyzing the very tools to help end discrimination by deconstructing the patriarchal legal system. This thesis is based on major feminist schools of thought and does not align with one specific feminist critique. Rather, this thesis rethinks them in combination for a possible decolonized gender as a critical reference point specific to Algerian women. As such, this analysis will apply on a specific set of legal provisions of the Algerian Family Code and Penal Code. This thesis highlights the shortcomings of these “protective” laws which stem from the male’s rationale and perspective. Finally, it draws on concrete examples related to sexual harassment, rape, marriage, and the legal concepts of “right to self-defense” and the “duty to rescue” to illustrate how the Algerian legal system is male rationality-made, questioning the delusion of law as “abstract, neutral and equal”.


School of Global Affairs and Public Policy


Law Department

Degree Name

LLM in International and Comparative Law

Graduation Date

Spring 2-15-2023

Submission Date


First Advisor

Jason Beckett

Committee Member 1

Thomas Skouteris

Committee Member 2

Hani Sayed


63 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item