Tunisian President Beji Caed Essibsi's fight for women is going strong, and his most recent speech proved just how far he's willing to go.
On Sunday, and just as the country celebrated National Women's Day, Essibsi called for change to the country's current legislation and practices regarding women.
In a speech delivered at the Presidential Palace in Carthage, Essibsi urged the country's prime minister and minister of justice to repeal article No 73, a 1973 decree which prohibits Tunisian Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men.
It's called 'freedom of choice'
The president argued that the law - which prohibits women-only from engaging in interfaith relationships - is an "obstacle to the freedom to choose one's spouse."
Interfaith marriages in Tunisia - only when a Muslim woman marries a non-Muslim man - are not recognized by the country's Mufti.
However, in a game-changing consensus, Tunisian Islamic scholars at Diwan al-Ifta voiced their support to the president's proposed changes, according to Al Arabiya.
Essibsi's fight for women's rights did not stop here. He also called for various amendments to the current legislation that would grant women equal rights as men, including those governing women's inheritance.
According to Islamic law, women inherit half of what their brothers receive. Essibsi wants to change that for Tunisian women, assuring the public that his views correlate with the country's Constitution.
"The state is committed to achieving full equality between women and men ... and equal opportunities for them in assuming all responsibilities, as stipulated in Article 46 of the Constitution," Essibsi said, according to Middle East Monitor.
The Constitution grants the "freedom of belief and conscience in its sixth chapter."
"We will not go through reforms that could shock the people, who are mostly Muslim, but we are moving towards equality in all fields. We are convinced that the Tunisian legal mind will find appropriate formulas that do not conflict with religion and its purposes, or with the Constitution and its principles, towards full equality," he said.
The president's speech coincided with the country's National Women's Day
The president's call coincided with the country's National Women's Day, which celebrates Tunisian women.
There are currently 75 women MPs in the country's 2017 parliament - the highest female representation in any Arab country - and their representation doesn't stop at the political sphere.
"Women represent 60 percent of those working in the medical sector, 35 percent in engineering, 41 percent in the judiciary, 43 percent in law and 60 percent in higher education. Additionally, civil society is primarily based on the participation of women," Essibsi said.
This wouldn't be the first time proposed changes to the current legislation have been brought to the table.
In 2016, 27 deputies submitted a legislative initiative in an effort to redefine the inheritance system with a call for 'equal inheritance' between women and men. The initiative was met with strong opposition in parliament at the time leading to their deferment.
Tunisia is considered a pioneer in women's rights across the Arab world
Tunisia has long been hailed for leading the region in terms of women's rights. Its personal status laws are considered to be one of the most progressive in the Arab world.
In July, Tunisia's parliament passed a bill protecting women from violence in what the Human Rights Watch (HRW) described as a "landmark step for women's rights."
The new law, which is expected to come into effect next year, brings about new criminal provisions and increases penalties for various forms of violence, sexual harassment, and discrimination against women.
Among other things, the law criminalizes sexual harassment in public spaces, bans the employment of children as domestic workers, and removes a controversial article that allowed rapists to marry their victims to escape punishment.
Interfaith marriages in the Arab world don't happen without a fight
Earlier this month, photos of an interfaith couple who got married in a Lebanese church went viral, causing quite the stir on social media.
The couple - Marwa Fawaz and Boutrous Kattoura - had both a church wedding and an Islamic wedding ceremony.
The couple got an approval from Sheikh Ali Al Ameen, who based his decision on a fatwa that allows for Muslim women to marry 'people of the book,' meaning Christians or Jews.
They also got the approval of Father Basilios Nasr, who officiated their church wedding ceremony.
Speaking to Annahar, Nasr said: "Our goal is to unite people rather than divide them, and to build a society based on understanding and love."
The couple will also have a civil ceremony outside Lebanon to legally register their marriage in Lebanon.