Section 103. There are three cases that apply to immediate daughters:
1. A sole daughter inherits half of the estate;
2. Two or more daughters collectively inherit two thirds of the estate;
3. Where there are any sons, the male inherits twice as much as the female.
Section 103 of Tunisia’s Personal Status Code limits daughters’ inheritance rights and provides that any sons inherit twice as much as daughters.
1 MARCH 2018 UPDATE: Feminist human rights associations, unions and national and international NGOs are determined to continue the struggle for full equality between Tunisian men and women until it is achieved. On 10 March, thousands – including Equality Now - will march on Parliament with the Tunisian National Coalition for Equality in Inheritance in solidarity with Tunisian women advocating for equal inheritance rights. In recognition of International Women’s Day (8 March) and organized under the principle that “Equality is a Right, Not a Privilege” (المساواة حق موش مزية) women and men are calling on the Government to respect and enforce the Constitution of 2014 (articles 21 and 46) that guarantees full equality between men and women in all spheres of life; and specifically to repeal Section 103 of Tunisia’s personal status code.
Sex discrimination in inheritance laws threatens women and their families around the world. In Tunisia, Halima struggles to feed her children and sick husband while her brothers use her father’s inheritance for vacations. Initially she’d received half, but in a common practice, was pressured by her family to give up her smaller share entirely. As she told the press, “I feel helpless and bitter. After receiving all our father’s inheritance, my brothers only care about their own families. They travel. And they’ve forgotten they have sisters.”
TAKE ACTION! Tunisia has become more progressive on women’s rights in recent years. In August 2017, President Essebsi himself called for gender equality in inheritance. However, deeply ingrained taboos on even discussing the issue have kept the struggle going for years. We’re asking you to support the Coalition’s goal that “Tunisia, the country of revolution, also becomes the country of Women’s Rights!” by keeping up the pressure on the Government. Progress here would also hugely impact the entire region where many women suffer similar discrimination.
Article 21 of the Constitution of Tunisia: Male and female citizens are equal in rights and duties. They are equal before the law without any discrimination.
In July 2013, the United Nations Working group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and practice recommended to Tunisia that it eliminate all forms of discrimination against women including by amending the Personal Status Code to grant women equal inheritance rights. Other UN committees including the CEDAW committee, which monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, have also recommended Tunisia amend its legislation to ensure equality between men and women, and to “amend without delay all remaining discriminatory provisions relating to … inheritance”. Discrimination in laws on inheritance also violates the commitments in the Sustainable Development Goals, which all UN member states adopted in 2015.