To mark International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March this year partner Claire-Marie Cornford and solicitor Sarah Smith from Irwin Mitchell reflect on recent legal developments concerning inheritance rights for women in England and Wales and overseas.
Like many countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East Tunisia's inheritance laws are based on Sharia which provides that women are only entitled to half the inheritance their male relatives receive.
Following the creation of the Commission for Individual Freedoms and Equality and to mark Tunisia’s National Women’s Day on 13 August 2018 President Essebsi agreed to one of the Commission’s main recommendations namely promising to propose ‘a bill for gender equality in inheritance’.
In November 2018 the draft bill was approved by Essebsi’s cabinet and referred to Parliament. The President's proposals include an opt-out provision so although equality would be the default position individuals could expressly opt-out of leaving their estate equally between their male and females heirs in their will. Regrettably the momentum for reform has been put on hold following President Essebsi’s death in July 2019 with the legislation yet...
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