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Gender equality in inheritance rifts Islamists

30-8-2017

Following the questioning the intentions behind Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi’s call for amendment of the inheritance law to ensure gender equality and for revoking the decree prohibiting marriage of a non-muslim man and a muslim woman (http://bit.ly/2wI5s2W), a number of Tunisian women expressed doubts about real change given the fierce opposition to such kind of social reform. Balkis, a university student studying English literature from Carthage, said she feels that gender discrimination is still institutionalized in her country, and this would hamper endorsement of similar laws. For her part, Lilia, a university student residing in the capital, expressed doubts over the President’s pledges. “I am confident that these two laws will not be approved given the wide opposition from the Tunisian community and certain politicians," she said. On the other front, Rothna Begum, women’s rights researcher for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch, welcomed Essebsi’s initiative, lauding Tunisia’s progressive position in a number of areas related to women’s rights. Discarding some of these discriminatory provisos, Begum said, could help Tunisian women and could serve as a role model for the  region. In a related context, Al Hayat daily wrote the President’s call instigated a rift between Islamists inside Tunisia and those abroad. The Islamic Renaissance Movement, led by Rashid Ghannouchi, criticized Wajdi Guneim, member of the International Muslim Brotherhood, for addressing the president as an ‘unbeliever’. In response, Guneim attacked the secularists, labelling them as infidels just as the country’s independence leader, Al Habib Bourguiba, was an infidel. (An Nahar, Al Hayat, August 24, 2017)

 

Previous related news:
Tunisian president’s call for gender equality questioned
Call for gender equality in inheritance in Tunisia steers controversy

Tunisian President stands up for gender equality in inheritance, Al Azhar objects
 

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