A meeting of African lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations, with fifty-five participants from twenty-two groups representing sixteen countries across the continent, adopted the following statement in South Africa, in February 2004.
Who remembers the “cleansing campaign” under President Chadli, more precisely in 1982? When you went out for a walk with your girlfriend/boyfriend, you could not walk 2 steps without running into ‘gendarmes’ or policemen who demanded your marriage certificate, or if you could not produce it, would take down your identity. It [seems to have] started all over again just like in 1982, couples in search of some green in Tipasa (a small town on the West coast of Algiers) have been taken to the police station by gendarmes or municipal guards – What’s the crime? Walking hand in hand.
Control of women’s sexuality remains to be one of the most powerful tools of patriarchy in most societies. The essays in this volume show that the sexual oppression of Muslim women is not the result of an ‘Islamic’ vision of sexuality, but a combination of political, social and economic inequalities throughout the ages.