Saad Guerraoui is a regular contributor to The Arab Weekly on Maghreb issues.

  • The debate on gender equality in inheritance resurfaces in Morocco, On: Sun, 20 Aug 2017

  • Taxi drivers in Casablanca ramp up war on ride-sharing services, On: Sun, 20 Aug 2017

  • Will Moroccan Jews in Israel vote Labour in 2019 elections?, On: Sun, 13 Aug 2017

  • Moroccan king blasts political parties for failure to contain crisis, On: Sun, 06 Aug 2017

  • North African designers shine at the London Arabia Art and Fashion Week, On: Sun, 06 Aug 2017

  • Illegal trade of plastic bags still rife in Morocco, On: Sun, 30 Jul 2017

  • Asilah Moussem, an exuberant platform for artistic events, On: Sun, 23 Jul 2017

  • Maghreb future is tied to resolving Western Sahara conflict, On: Sun, 23 Jul 2017

  • Morocco delays currency reform amid speculation, On: Sun, 16 Jul 2017

  • Casablanca makes spectacular comeback to international festival scene, On: Sun, 16 Jul 2017

  • Corruption scandals grip Morocco as governments pledge to fight scourge , On: Sun, 09 Jul 2017

  • Qatar crisis triggers Saudi-Moroccan media row, On: Sun, 02 Jul 2017

  • Morocco’s king vents anger at government over Rif crisis, On: Sun, 02 Jul 2017

  • Essaouira celebrates 20 years of Gnaoua and World Music Festival, On: Sun, 02 Jul 2017

  • Arrest of protest movement leader divides Moroccans on social media, On: Sun, 04 Jun 2017

  • Face à Picasso: Best of legendary artist exhibited in Rabat, On: Sun, 21 May 2017

  • Tangier, Morocco’s gateway to Europe, On: Sun, 21 May 2017

  • Moroccan ship seizure triggers crisis between Rabat and Pretoria, On: Sun, 14 May 2017

  • Working-class Moroccans wary of subsidy cuts, On: Sun, 07 May 2017

  • Morocco predicts near-record cereal harvest in 2017, On: Sun, 23 Apr 2017

  • Rabat commits to development projects in restive region , On: Sun, 16 Apr 2017

  • Six parties to join new Moroccan coalition, On: Sun, 02 Apr 2017

  • New Moroccan PM moves to end political deadlock , On: Sun, 26 Mar 2017

  • Morocco to adopt flexible exchange rate policy, On: Sun, 19 Mar 2017

  • Moroccan king names Othmani as new prime minister , On: Sun, 19 Mar 2017

  • Discovering Rabat’s hidden charms, On: Sun, 19 Mar 2017

  • Polisario remains in Guerguerat despite UN call, On: Sun, 05 Mar 2017

  • Benkirane blames parties for failing to form new Moroccan government, On: Sun, 26 Feb 2017

  • Blend of authenticity, modernity at Caftan Fashion Night, On: Sun, 26 Feb 2017

  • African focus at Casablanca book fair, On: Sun, 19 Feb 2017

  • Meknes, the city of endless heritage, On: Sun, 19 Feb 2017

  • EU to secure agriculture trade pact after Morocco’s warning, On: Sun, 12 Feb 2017

  • Morocco grows into an international cultural magnet, On: Sun, 12 Feb 2017

  • Morocco rejoins African Union without conditions, On: Sun, 05 Feb 2017

  • The stakes of Morocco’s diplomatic offensive, On: Sun, 29 Jan 2017

  • Morocco engages process of integrating migrants, On: Sun, 22 Jan 2017

  • In Morocco, reforms stalled with no government formed , On: Sun, 15 Jan 2017

  • Morocco working on becoming regional industrial hub, On: Sun, 08 Jan 2017

  • Climate change hurting economic growth in Morocco, On: Sun, 08 Jan 2017

  • The debate on gender equality in inheritance resurfaces in Morocco

    Ripple efffects. Moroccan women shout slogans during a protest calling for gender equality in Rabat. (AFP)

    2017/08/20 Issue: 120 Page: 9

    Casablanca- The call for gender equality in inheritance resurfaced in Morocco following Tu­nisian President Beji Caid Essebsi’s move to amend the law on inheritance to guarantee equality between men and women in his country.

    If the parliament passes the measure and it is enacted, Tunisia would be the first Arab country and fourth Muslim country to adopt equal inheritance.

    In a speech that coincided with National Women’s Day, Caid Es­sebsi announced the formation of a committee to study applying equal­ity between men and women in all fields.

    Saida Idrissi, president of the Democratic Association of Moroc­can Women (ADFM), hailed the move as a major human rights vic­tory for Tunisian women.

    “With a conservative govern­ment we have in Morocco, the road will be very long before we emulate Tunisia on women’s rights,” Idrissi said.

    In 2016, a legislative initiative to change the inheritance system was submitted by 27 Tunisian members of parliament but was met with fierce opposition.

    In Morocco, there has been a long debate about the issue, with activ­ists and religious figures calling for equal inheritance. Sharia law dictates that women inherit half of what their brothers do.

    Preacher Mohamed Abdelouahab Rafiki, known as Abu Hafs, said that what happened in Tunisia was a bold step that should be considered in Morocco.

    “I think it is not surprising in a country like Tunisia, which was the forerunner of several initiatives in this section (women’s rights),” said Abou Hafs, who received death threats after calling for the amend­ment of the inheritance law in April on television.

    “The dynamism of civil society besides the interaction of the Board of Muftis, which encouraged the call contrary to what we see from the official institutions’ opposition in the rest of Muslim countries, should be hailed,” he said.

    “Morocco is better than other countries although it still needs more effort on this subject (equal inheritance). The debate on it has become more powerful. It is no longer a taboo as it was before and there are official institutions that interacted positively with the sub­ject, such as the National Council for Human Rights. Overall, I see that the situation will soon devel­op.”

    Idrissi said Morocco’s 2011 Con­stitution stipulates gender equal­ity in all fields, including economic rights that “enclose inheritance.”

    “Given that inheritance is a very important economic issue, men do not want to share this wealth to which women have contributed but men always bring the argument that the sacredness of inheritance should not be touched while there are many things that are more sa­cred, such as the illegality of usury,” she said.

    Opponents of equal inheritance argue that the law must be kept as it is because God’s words are divine and not subject to any interpreta­tion.

    Nasser Rennaj, a 49-year-old en­trepreneur, insists that the current inheritance law cannot be changed “because God knows better than anyone else the reasons of dividing inheritance between the two gen­ders.”

    Abou Hafs denied that the call for equal inheritance was in opposition to Islam and the Quran.

    “As I understand, the verses in the Quran dealt with a particular situation and chose the best laws that existed at the time, as a begin­ning to achieve equality, which is a noble value that Islam can only come to and call for,” he said.

    “There are Quranic verses on ji­had and punishments that are not applied today and have been sub­ject to the logic of human develop­ment. Texts of inheritance should be similarly dealt with,”

    Idrissi said: “We will launch the battle for equality in inheritance and claim our rights.”

    Editors' Picks

    The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

    From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

    Published by Al Arab Publishing House

    Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

    Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

    Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

    Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

    Senior Editor: John Hendel

    Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

    Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

    Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

    East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

    Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

    Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

    Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

    Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

    Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

    Regular Columnists

    Claude Salhani

    Yavuz Baydar


    Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

    Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

    Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

    Thomas Seibert (Washington)

    Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi


    Ibrahim Ben Bechir

    Hanen Jebali

    Published by Al Arab Publishing House

    Contact editor

    Subscription & Advertising:

    Tel 020 3667 7249

    Mohamed Al Mufti

    Marketing & Advertising Manager

    Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

    Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

    Al Arab Publishing House

    Kensington Centre

    177-179 Hammersmith Road

    London W6 8BS , UK

    Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

    Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

    Follow Us
    © The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved