Revolution in Tunisia

Tunisian women can now marry non-Muslim men, government rules.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


After 44 years, the Tunisian Parliament decided to allow local women to marry non-Muslim men.

The law in question was made in 1973, and forced women to marry Muslim men only. Any non-Muslim man who wished to wed a Tunisian was forced to convert to Islam and display a certificate of his conversion to the authorities. He would then receive a permit to wed.

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi congratulated his country's women on the freedom to marry who they choose, a spokesperson for Essebsi said. The law has already gone into effect.

99% of Tunisia's citizens are Muslims, but there are small minorities of Jews and Christians as well. The country is considered to be one of the best for women. Immediately after taking power in 2014, Essebsi began pressuring the Parliament to cancel the 1973 law allowing women to choose who they want to marry.

Islam is patrilineal.

"The marriage law was an obstacle which did not allow for freedom in choosing a spouse," Essebi said last month, during an International Women's Day celebration in Tunisia.

Last July, the Tunisian Parliament canceled a law which allowed rapists to evade punishment by marrying their victims.

In 2014, Tunisia passed a law stating that only a Muslim can be elected president.