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|Minister of Culture|
2002 – current
13 March 1958 |
Ain Bessem, Bouira, Algeria
Khalida Toumi (in Arabic خليدة تومي) (born 13 March 1958), aka Khalida Messaoudi (in Arabic خليدة مسعودي), is an Algerian politician. She was the Minister of Communication and Culture until April 2014. She is also a feminist activist.
Khalida Toumi was known as Khalida Messaoudi before she reclaimed her maiden name. She was born in 1958 in Ain-Bessem, Bouira, in the north of Algeria and entered the University of Algiers in 1977 to pursue a degree in mathematics. After graduating from the École Normale Supérieure, she taught mathematics until 1993.
As a feminist activist, in 1981, she founded the Collectif féminin (Women's Grouping) not only to oppose the ministerial interdiction on Algerian women leaving the country unless accompanied by a male family member, but also to oppose state endorsement of the discriminatory Family Code, which the National Assembly eventually adopted in 1984. Following the adoption of this code, Toumi presided over the Association for Equality between Men and Women, founded by a group of Trotskyite militants. In 1985, Toumi co-founded and became a member of the executive committee of the Algerian League of Human Rights. She later distanced herself from the Trotskyite militants and in 1990 founded the Independent Association for the Triumph of Women's Rights.
Toumi staunchly opposed Islamist ideology and endorsed cancellation of the January 1992 legislative elections, which the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was poised to win. She considered the FIS to display "absolutely all the classic ingredients of totalitarian populist movements." She traveled to Western countries to provide an anti-Islamist and anti-terrorist perspective.
A member of the Rassemblement pour la Culture et la Démocratie (RCD), she won a seat in the assembly and served as the RCD's national vice president for human rights and women's issues. After profound disagreements with the RCD's president Saïd Sadi, she severed relations with the RCD in January 2001, at the peak of the crisis in her native Kabylie; she was subsequently expelled from the RCD. In May 2002, she became minister of culture and communication, as well as the government's spokesperson, the first woman ever to hold that job. She held that ministerial post in various terms until 2014.
- 1984-1991 Teacher of mathematics
- 1992-1993 Member of the (CCN): Conseil consultatif national.
- 1997-2002 Deputy of Algiers at the (APN): l’Assemblée populaire nationale.
- 2000-2001 Vice-president of the (CNRSE) Commission nationale de réforme du système éducatif.
- May 1985 founding member and president of the first Association of Independent Women.
- March 1985 founding member and Vice-president of the first Algerian League of Human Rights
- January 1992 Member of the CNSA and of the CCN
- April 1996 – 2001 Member of the secularist party: the RCD, excluded in July 2001
- 1997-2002 Deputy of Algiers at the (APN) under the RCD label
- October 1993 Vice president of Mouvement pour la République (MPR)
- 9 May 2003 Algerian Minister of Communication and Culture
- Cinq femmes au gouvernement
- Messaoudi Khalida and Schemla Elisabeth (1998). Unbowed: An Algeria Woman Confronts Islamic Fundamentalism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.