Although the Egyptian Civil Code states that women have the right to own, inherit and independently use their property equally to men, many Egyptian women, especially in rural areas, are deprived from their inheritance. In Sohag’s governorate, 93% of women are deprived of their inheritance, and 60% are unable to manage their inheritance, while 88% of men refuse to give women their inheritance, according to a study conducted by the international instance KIR. Besides, there are a lot of discriminatory prejudices related to women’s inheritance (“It is better to give women a « lump sum » of money instead of their legal inheritance”; “If women receive their inheritance, they will show a desire for independence from their family”) which make families accept and silently encourage this practice.
In order to impact on some of these discriminatory beliefs and to increase the proportion of women getting their right to inheritance, BADR Altawael Association for local population development is conducting an advocacy campaign. Through training and awareness-raising activities such as street theatre, the campaign aims at targeting the religious leaders, the media and the general public to discuss and defend women’s rights to inheritance. Associations, political parties, trade unions, government authorities and relevant decision makers, in particular Parliament’s members representing Souhaj Governorate, will be encouraged to amend the current law as cases of women’s deprivation of their inheritance are not punished. Through round tables, petitions and collection of signatures, the campaign targets several towns and villages of the governorate of Souhaj which counts more than 4,5 million of inhabitants.
On March 8th, 2017, BADR has officially launched its campaign in favour of women’s right to inheritance with a roundtable which gathered legal experts, a member of the Egyptian Parliament and representatives of civil society organizations. This campaign is part of the project CSO WINS « Capacity building in Southern Mediterranean to open policy dialogue and monitoring for women in society » funded by the European Union, in synergy with the action of the Foundation.
The campaign is coordinated by BADR in partnership with the Jordanian Hashemite fund for Human Development – JOHUD (Jordan) as part of a peer-to-peer learning exchange.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 “Strengthening the capacities of equality actors” of the Priority Solidarity Fund “Women for the future in the Mediterranean” funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women’s Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.