Tunisia was rocked with protests over the weekend over a bid to have women granted equal inheritance as men. The mostly conservative wing protested the move, claiming that it is against the Islamic rule that grants daughters half the inheritance given to sons.
The protest was organised by the National Coordination for the Defense of the Quran, the Constitution and Equitable Development.
Despite these protests, Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi said on Monday that the country will still go ahead with the proposal to give women equal inheritance rights with men.
Monday was Tunisia’s Women’s Day, set aside to celebrate the steps women have made and to highlight some of the challenges they are still facing.
The president’s decision is based on the recommendations of a 300-page government report called the Colibe report, which also proposes an end to the death penalty and legalising homosexuality, which is outlawed in the current penal code.
The report authors stated that the report conforms to the country’s constitution.
“They in no way contravene Islamic precepts, but embody an enlightened reading of these precepts, which put them in step with the evolution of society,” said Abdelmajid Charfi, a university professor who is one of the report’s authors.
Tunisia is seen as one of the progressive Islamic nations when it comes to women.