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Tunisia women march for same inheritance rights as men

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Tunisian women led a march by more than 1 000 demonstrators on 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 favor”.

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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.

A constitution adopted in 2014 guarantees equality between men and women.

Article 21 of the constitution states: “All citizens, male and female, have equal rights and duties, and are equal before the law without any discrimination.”

Monia Ben Jemia, who heads the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, said she hoped the law will change by next year.

“The fact that we are talking about it now means that we have already won the battle,” she said.

Rahma Jawadi, who heads a rural women’s organisation in northwestern Tunisia, said any change in the law on inheritance would help empower women in her region.

“They could farm the land and have a revenue,” she said.

The commission examining individual liberties is expected to release its first report in June and would recommand a policy of step by step changes, one of its members said.

It could suggest families take it upon themselves to equally distribute the inheritance between sons and daughters, thus bypassing Islamic precepts.

 

 

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Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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