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Algerian minister says married women should 'give up salaries'

Meslem's Her suggestion caused a stir on social media [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 4 December, 2016

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Women's affairs Minister Mounia Meslem sparked controversy after suggesting that working women who are married should rely on their husband’s wages and donate their salaries to the cash-strapped Algerian government.
Working married women in Algeria should give up their salaries to the national treasury to help their country out of its current cash problem, Algeria's minister of national solidarity, family and women affairs Mounia Meslem has proposed.

She said that women who hold senior positions should donate to the cash-strapped Algerian government and live off their husband’s wages, Meslem, told privately-owned al-Bilad TV channel.

It came after Meslem was asked whether latest austerity measures will affect senior political leaders, after months of low oil prices have dried up Algiers' coffers.

"If we must we should give up our monthly salaries - especially women's - to the state's treasury," Meslem said during an interview with privately-owned al-Balad TV channel. 

"We [women] could help our country, which gave us an education and an opportunity to have a career [by] transferring our full pay to [the treasury] - it is the least we could do," she said.

"Women who are married do not need a monthly wage to live, of course, as they live off their husband's salaries," added Meslem, who has been in charge of family and women's affairs since 2013.

"Our husbands are responsible for us and they can [cover our expenses]," she said. "It is easy for us to give up not only a part of our salaries but our monthly income entirely - and with pleasure."

Her suggestion caused a stir on social media as many called for her resignation, arguing that Meslem wants to take Algerian women back to the stone age and keep women reliant on men.

Meslem was also criticised for being out of touch with the reality of economic situation in Algeria, where many women work to support their families.

[Translation: She must resign from government as #MouniaMeslem is simply a demagogue and by no means in the right place.]

[If Mounia Meslem doesn't understand that a woman cannot depend on the salary of her husband then she is irresponsible.] 

[Translation: Return to the Stone Age!]

[Translation: Your proposal is simply unreal…slavery was abolished in Islam a long time ago.]

[Translation: And this is the minister for women's rights!]

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