Tunisia Ends Ban on Non-Muslim Men Marrying Muslim Women

AMMAN, JORDAN - JULY 25: A Groom listens to his veiled bride in a mass wedding July 25, 2003 in Amman, Jordan. One hundred and four brides and grooms made the knot in a mass wedding organized by the Islamic society of (al-Afaf) for philanthropic wedding, celebrating with their families …
Salah Malkawi/Getty

(AFP) — Tunisia has abolished a decades-old ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims, the presidency said Thursday.

“Congratulations to the women of Tunisia for the enshrinement of the right to the freedom to choose one’s spouse,” presidency spokeswoman Saida Garrach wrote on Facebook.

The announcement comes a month after President Beji Caid Essebsi called for the government to scrap the ban dating back to 1973.

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 the North African country 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.


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