In the above overview of different forms of magic the examples given indicate that the sorcery was done by women directed at men, that their relation was strained and the women were trying to control the men's sexuality. It is no accident. Sorcery can be practiced by anyone, but it is generally believed to be a practice of women. A young, educated man illustrated this idea when he said that ninety-eight percent of the women practice suhur compared to only two percent of the men. A common synonym for sorcery is amal an-nisa, „The work of women“. All women are seen as potentially evil and the different between them and a sahhara is only a matter of degree. This is expressed in poverbs like „Women are the snares of Iblis“, or „Women are the cows of the devil“.
The suspicion of men about the sorcery of women is not without foundation. For women, magic is one option available for influencing their husbands. Some of their efforts are considered harmless routines by most Algerians, like when the bride jumps seven times over the ram to be slaughtered at her wedding or makes sure to be the first to enter the bridal room, both of which symbolize her future control over her husband. The following procedure would be considered less acceptable. To gain control over a man and to make that „he returns under your feet and accepts your opinion“, one can take water used for washing the hand and feet, spit in it three times then mix it in his food. To subordinate a man who is too jealous and distrustful one can conjure with muck from between his toes – this can be scraped out of his shoes – or with the nails of a donkey. The letter will make him lax and lethargic like a donkey and indulgent towards his wife's escapades. To make an intelligent man stupid and a sexually valiant man impotent, he has to be fed couscous rolled with the hand of a dead person.
Magic is often not so much a means to gain control of a husband, as it is a defense against maltreatment. The women who is beaten regularly by her husband can let him wash his hands with the soap used for washing a dead, while she recites: „May your hands become cold, like the deat are cold in the grave“. A woman who fears divorce can burn his šarmita with alcohol to make his heart burn for her. Or she can put the top of a sugar cone three times in her vagina before intercourse. Saturated with sexual fluids it is taken out, dried and put in the husbad's coffee or tea to bring about eternal attachment. A woman who suffers from his adultery or his interest in a second wife can use one of the above mentioned rites to tie him, or put her curse on a twig of the oleander, wrap it in his rag and bury it in the graveyard. When one learns that the oleander is poisonous, the symbolism becomes clear.
Men are wary of their women's sorcery, whether they believe in it or not. Many husband forbid their wives to meet old women who are not relatives. They are suspitea because is tasted funny. In fact the water had just been treated to cure his alcoholism. Sorcery takes place in secret, and any magical acts are carefully hidden.