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Keywords:

  • Women;
  • migration;
  • Islam;
  • France;
  • integration

Even though France has experienced increasing and inevitable feminization in its immigrant population since 1974, research has tended to ignore the role of immigrant women, especially Muslim women, in the migration process. Public attention has been diverted by concern over such relatively marginal issues as the headscarf affair, and insufficient attention has been paid to the important role Muslim women play in France, especially those coming from Algeria. These women function as cultural mediators between the traditional culture of the sending country and the modern one of the host country. They see themselves as both tradition-bearers and integration proponents. The demands of immigration have given rise to the growth and development of different leaders, among them cultural mediators seeking a bridge between Islam and modernity, economic mediators seeking to establish women in the media and as entrepreneurs, and political mediators who seek access to power at the local level for the immigrants. These new mediators will eventually shape a new generation of female actors very far from the traditional countries of origin, although for the time being they still suffer from the inequality of rights for women and chances in their overall social life.