Tunisian women now free to marry non-Muslims – Govt

Tunisia has announced that women are now free to marry non-Muslims, the AFP news agency reports.

The announcement upending the decades-old law comes a month after President Beji Caid Essebsi called for the government to scrap the ban dating back to 1973. A spokeswoman for the president posted on Facebook: “Congratulations to the women of Tunisia for the enshrinement of the right to the freedom to choose one’s spouse.”

Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. Human rights groups in Tunisia had campaigned for the ban’s abolition, saying it undermined the fundamental human right to choose a spouse. Tunisia is viewed as being ahead of most Arab countries on women’s rights, but there is still discrimination particularly in matters of inheritance, the report says.

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