Tunisian women march for same inheritance rights as men

Protesters shout slogans during a march, demanding equal inheritance rights for women, in Tunis, Tunisia Mar. 10, 2018. The placard (L) reads “The Constitution is equal for all citizens.” (Reuters)
Updated 10 March 2018
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Tunisian women march for same inheritance rights as men

TUNIS: Tunisian women led a march by more than 1,000 demonstrators Saturday, including men, to demand equal inheritance rights for both sexes in the North African country.
Tunisia's inheritance law is based on Islamic jurisprudence stipulating that men inherit double the amount received by women.
The demonstrators marched to the seat of parliament in the Tunisian capital chanting equal inheritance rights "are a right, not a favour".
Last year, President Beji Caid Essebsi announced plans to set up a commission to examine "individual liberties" and "equality in all domains", including inheritance.
His announcement sparked opposition from Muslim clerics who issued a statement saying the proposals amounted to "a flagrant violation" of Islamic precepts.
Tunisia, which adopted a 1956 Personal Status Code extending several rights to women and abolishing polygamy, is seen as a pioneer on women's emancipation in the Arab world, although tensions often surface between conservatives and reformists.
The 2011 revolution in Tunisia toppled the regime of autocratic president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked uprisings across the Arab world, where changes to inheritance rights are considered a taboo.
But activists on Saturday stressed the demand for equality among the sexes in Tunisia.
"There must be equality, it is in the constitution," adopted after the 2011 uprising, said Sana Ben Achour, president of the Beity association which supports women.


Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

Updated 23 May 2019
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Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

  • Israel reduced the fishing limit to 10 nautical miles
  • The countries agreed to 20 nautical miles in the Oslo accords of 1990s

JERUSALEM: Israel reduced the offshore fishing limits it imposes for vessels operating out of Gaza from Thursday after Palestinians floated balloons fitted with incendiaries over the border, officials said.
The cut came just two days after Israel restored the limits to those set in April ahead of an Israeli general election.
“A decision was taken this Wednesday evening to reduce the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip to 10 nautical miles until further notice,” said COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees such regulations.
“The decision was taken after the launch of incendiary balloons from Gaza toward Israel,” it added.
Palestinians in Gaza have frequently floated balloons fitted with firebombs over the border to damage Israeli property and have in the past succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland.
Israel banned fishing completely when two days of deadly violence erupted earlier this month, but lifted the ban with a restriction of up to 12 nautical miles following a truce.
The 15-nautical-mile limit that had been restored on Tuesday was the largest allowed in years by Israel, which has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in the enclave and has blockaded it for more than a decade.
But human rights activists note that it still falls short of the 20 nautical miles agreed under the Oslo accords of the 1990s.
Israeli authorities have not said whether the 15-mile limit was one of the understandings reached as part of the May 6 cease-fire in Gaza but Israel media reported on Monday that it was.
The additional nautical miles are important to Gaza fishermen as they bring more valuable, deeper water species within reach.
Four Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including at least nine militants, were killed in this month’s exchanges across the border.