Tunisia drafts groundbreaking laws aimed at advancing gender equality
Known as a pioneer when it comes to women’s rights in the region, Tunisia is now taking more steps towards ensuring gender equality in the country.
In a statement she made earlier this week, Bushra Hameeda, head of the country’s newly formed Committee for Personal Freedoms and Equality, said board members are drafting new legislation aimed at advancing the rights of Tunisian women.
The laws include groundbreaking plans to legally label both a wife and husband as equal heads of a family, and make men and women equal in the right to pass on family names to their children.
They also comprise a proposition aimed at canceling marriage dowries, which are currently a binding condition in Islamic marriage contracts registered in Tunisia.
According to Tunisia Online, the new plans are set to be proposed to the country’s president, Beji Caed Essibsi, on the 20th of February.
Once passed through him, they’ll be presented to the country’s parliament as draft laws.
The news comes after a triumphant year for Tunisian women
— katou adhoum (@katouadh) December 27, 2017
In 2017, Tunisia passed a landmark law that protects women from all forms of violence and issued an order that allows Muslim women to marry outside their religion.
During the same year, the country’s president also made unprecedented public statements, calling for various amendments to the country’s current legislation that would grant women equal rights as men, including those governing women’s inheritance.
According to Islamic law, women inherit half of what their brothers receive. Essibsi wants to change that for Tunisian women, assuring the public that his views correlate with the country’s Constitution.
Tunisia is considered a pioneer in women’s rights across the Arab world
unisia has long been hailed for leading the Arab world in terms of women’s rights.
The country’s current personal status code, which was introduced in 1956, is considered to be one of the most progressive in the region.
Under it, polygamy is outlawed and a woman’s consent is a pre-requirement for marriage.
The code also gives women the right “to vote and to be elected to parliament, to earn equal wages to men and to divorce.”