For some weeks now, hundreds of Moroccans have been intensifying their demand to have the country’s inheritance rule repealed.
The rule, known as Ta’sib gives the rights to the men closest to the family of the deceased or distant relatives, even those not known in the family, to share the inheritance with female orphans who do not have a brother.
Last month, some of the country’s intellectuals, including the former Health Minister Houcine Louardi and Rachid Benzine, an Islamologist and researcher signed a petition against the rule.
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“Ta’sib no longer corresponds to the functioning of the Moroccan family and the current social context,” the statement cited by local media The Arab Weekly read.
“It makes the poorest women more precarious, it forces many parents to give up their property, while alive, to their daughters, and finally, it is a pure product of the Fiqh (jurisprudence) and does not obey a divine command.”
“Why maintain a rule that not only has no social justification but that, moreover, is jurisprudence and has no basis in the Quran?
“On the contrary, in today’s context, Ta’sib goes against the principles of justice of the Quran and not in the sense of its purposes,” the statement added.
In Morocco and other Muslim countries, a woman receives half as much as a man in inheritance. This makes men more economically privileged as they have access to land, property and industry.
The worrying issue now is a woman cannot even benefit from what is rightfully hers when her father, brother or husband dies, leaving the woman disadvantaged and vulnerable.
In 2011, Morocco’s constitution was amended with equality between the sexes being a priority.
But reports say conservative sections of the society, which use a patriarchal reading of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, have interrupted efforts that would allow women to benefit from inheritance.
It is almost forbidden to talk about equal inheritance in Morocco but as the calls for gender equality increase and women continue to take up leadership roles in the household, the situation is likely to change.