First in Muslim world, Tunisian president seeks equal inheritance for women

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In a speech on the occasion of the National Women’s Day, the Tunisian President announced the formation of a committee to study the issue of individual rights and to activate them further and to consider equality between men and women in all fields.

Despite the wide rights of women in Tunisia compared to other Muslim countries, however, arbitration in inheritance is still based on the Sharia or Islamic law, where the man’s share equals to that of two women.

President Beji Caed Essibsi stressed that equality between men and women, which was approved by the Tunisian constitution, should cover all areas, including equality in inheritance. “If we think about harmony, because the constitution dictates this, we must go in this direction.”

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He said that inheritance is not a religious matter, but rather a matter for human beings. “God and His Messenger have left the matter for human beings to act,” he said.

The President also called on the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice to review and change publication No. 73, which prohibits Tunisian woman from marrying a foreigner if his Islamic faith is not recognized by the Mufti, adding that the Tunisian Constitution recognizes freedom of belief and freedom of conscience in its sixth chapter and holds the state responsible for ensuring the protection of these freedoms.

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