Rabat – The struggle for women’s right is still a contentious topic in many predominantly Muslim societies, with a prevailing patriarchal culture that gives more rights and social recognition to its male members.
It is in a bid to challenge some remnants of patriarchy in Morocco’s family law that a group of Moroccan public personalities, including university professors, lawyers, theologians, doctors, journalists, writers, and many other professions, has initiated a petition in order to challenge the ta’sib rule, an inheritance law that favors men over women. The group of signatories is demanding that women be put on an equal legal footing as men when it comes to inheritance rights.
Fifteen of the undersigned are the authors L’héritage des femmes (Women’s inheritance), a recent joint academic publication that explains the authors’ pro-women’s rights stance, and where they argued that the ta’sib tradition should no longer be applicable to a changing Moroccan society. The tradition that says that males should prevail when it comes to inheritance is no longer a valid reflection of Morocco as a society, they said.
“Ta’sib does not correspond to the functioning of Moroccan families in the current social context,” the group wrote in their petition, further explaining that the tradition is simply the result of patriarchal interpretations of the Holy Scriptures, rather than a divine precept.
In Moroccan families, women play a crucial role, with some taking full responsibility of children’s education and others providing considerable financial and other kinds of supports to their husbands, they further said in the text that accompanied the petition.
Citing official figures of recent studies, the text said that one out of five Moroccan families are at the full charge of women who are not helped in any way by their ‘distant male relatives.’
“Why maintain a law that has no social justification and no Quaranic foundations?” the text asked, adding that, as things now stand in Moroccan families, “it is unfair” to continue endorsing women’s suffering and exploitation for the benefit of their male siblings or ‘distant relations’
“For all these reasons,” concludes the text, alluding to all the figures the signatories provided in favor of their undertaking, “we, the undersigned, are calling for the abrogation of the ta’sib inheritance law, just as has recently been done by some other Muslim societies.”