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قاعدة بيانات الجنسين والحقوق في الأراضي التابعة لمنظمة الأغذية والزراعة

Egypt

Inheritance/succession de facto practices

- Female relatives and spouses are accorded shares, but half that of a male in a similar position and male relatives are more likely to inherit and to enjoy a greater share of the estate.  This difference in treatment between men and women is usually explained by reference to the fact that it is also a feature of Islamic law that a wife is entitled to maintenance from her husband, in terms of shelter, clothing, food and medical care. Traditionally, male heirs face social pressure to provide for other family members, though this obligation is not always met (20).
- Inheritance disputes tend to arise when women inherit a house or other building, especially if the structure in question is the family home. In some cases, male heirs prevent female heirs from inheriting their rightful share of the residence. Men justify such action by referring to the traditional notion that men, not women, are responsible for providing the family home. In general, matters of this kind are governed and settled according to traditional social norm and not to the national laws. In other instances, a woman’s right to inherit a house may be reduced to permission to live in the building; she is thus deprived of the rights, which are linked to her property rights, to sell, purchase or rent out the house.
Finally, the widow herself may fear moving out of the family house to live independently, since such a move can entail the loss of her and her children’s inheritance claims to the house. For the same reason, widows may also refrain from remarrying (4).
- Traditionally, the deceased’s in-laws deny widows the right to remarry in order to make sure that the property and children remain in her husband’s family name. For this reason, in rural areas, women often marry the brother of the late husband (24). Due to the fact that women face the risk of social exclusion and eviction from the property, they often refrain from demanding their lawful share of inheritance, especially through the court system. Many women believe that demanding their inheritance share is shameful (4).
- A woman who inherits land from her father is more or less expected to hand over the land to her brothers. If there is more than one widow, they must divide the widow’s share among them (28).

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