Gender Equality in Tunisia (Important Updates)
After the law on violence against women approved by the Tunisian parliament on July 26, 2017, made headlines around the world as a landmark step for women’s rights in Tunisia, Tunisia's celebration of women's day (August 13th) took a historical turn.
In his speech on the occasion, the Tunisian President announced the creation of a committee for individual rights to further guarantee gender equality to be headed by prominent women rights advocate and lawyer Bochra Belhaj Hmida.
This committee should support the president's call to review and change Tunisian legislation in order to guarantee:
- the right of Tunisian women to marry a "non-Muslim" (publication No. 73 prohibits Tunisian women from marrying a foreigner if his Islamic faith is not recognized by the Mufti).
- inheritance equality (arbitration in inheritance is still based on the Sharia or Islamic law, where the man’s share equals to that of two women).
This step comes after years of lobbying by feminist and human rights civil society actors especially after the adoption of the Constitution of 2014 and its article 21:
"All citizens, male and female, have equal rights and duties, and are equal before the law without any discrimination. The state guarantees freedoms and individual and collective rights to all citizens, and provides all citizens the conditions for a dignified life."
If these reforms will be effectively established, Tunisia will be the first Muslim country where women and men have completely equal rights.