Egyptian parliament amends inheritance laws

The Egyptian Parliament has passed a law guaranteeing women’s right to inheritance after over a year’s process on amending the 1943 inheritance law. Egyptian women for the longest time have been deprived of the right to inheritance due to patriarchal cultural norms and traditions, especially in the Upper Egypt region. Article 49 of the new law states that anyone who deliberately denies the heir, be it a man or a woman, their legal share of the inheritance or confiscates a document confirming this share, shall be jailed for six months at least and be subject to a fine. This step does not change the conception or application of the inheritance laws, but increases penalty for preventing inheritance to ensure enforcement. A majority of women in Upper Egypt and rural areas are denied this right despite their legal entitlement to inheritance.