(Photo: Morocco World News)
A 44-year ban has been lifted in Tunisia, now allowing Muslim women to marry non-Muslims.
Since December 2014, President Beji Caid Essebsi has headed a gender-equality campaign, aiming to lift the ban, arguing that the ban contradicted Tunisia’s constitution. He explained, “The state is obliged to achieve full equality between women and men and to ensure legal opportunity for all responsibilities.”
The ban, put in place in 1973, made it so that non-Muslim men who wanted to marry Muslim women had to convert to Islam, but did not enforce any such rule among Muslim men who wanted to marry non-Muslim women.
Lifting the ban is not the first victory of the Tunisia’s gender equality movement. In July, the country passed stricter laws on domestic and sexual violence and sexual harassment in public spaces.
President Beji Caid Essebsi’s next big goal is to alter Tunisia’s inheritance laws under which men receive double their female siblings’ inheritance, though the proposal has already received tough criticisms by Tunisian clerics. For today, however, congratulations are in order for Tunisia’s big step toward gender equality.