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Egypt: a step forward in gender equality ?

After months of fierce legal battle, an Egyptian woman obtained from the court inheritance rights equal to those of her brothers, a first.

Huda Nasralla, a 40-year-old Egyptian woman, has just won a long and bitter legal battle in which she has never stopped asserting her right to a succession equal to that of her brothers.

A matter of religion

In fact, Islam – which was the first religion to grant women inheritance rights – is lagging behind in inheritance legislation. In Islam, women inherit only half of the share of their brother(s). Despite several attempts to change this law throughout the Arab world, it still exists today.

Huda Nasralla is not a Muslim. It is, in fact, Coptic (the Christian inhabitants of Egypt), and, logically, refused to be judged according to Islamic law. “It’s not really about inheritance, my father didn’t leave us millions, but I have the right to be treated in the same way as my brothers,” the woman explains.

The victory of common sense?

Legally, in Egypt, the Coptic Church itself administers its own legislation concerning marriages and divorces. But the management of inheritance rights is still the responsibility of the State. This case thus creates case law by granting Huda Nasralla inheritance tax in all respects equal to those of her brothers. More than progress in gender equality, it is rather a beautiful tolerance lesson…