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A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi has confirmed that Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims.

She made the announcement and congratulated women on gaining “the
freedom to choose one’s spouse”. Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished
to marry a Tunisian Muslim woman had to convert to Islam and submit a
certificate of his conversion as proof.

Tunisia, which is 99% Muslim, is viewed as one of the most
progressive Arab countries in terms of women’s rights.  The new law
comes after President Essebsi pushed for the lifting of the marriage
restriction law that was put in place in 1973.

He said in a speech last month, during celebrations of the National
Women’s day, that the marriage law was “an obstacle to the freedom of
choice of the spouse”.  The restriction was also seen as violating
Tunisia’s constitution which was adopted in 2014 in the wake of the Arab
Spring revolution.

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