Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims.

A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi 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.

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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”.

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The restriction was also seen as violating Tunisia’s constitution which was adopted in 2014 in the wake of the Arab Spring revolution.

Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

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