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Habib Ben Ali Bourguiba (Arabic: حبيب بورقيبة) (born August 3, 1903 in Monastir, Tunisia – died April 6, 2000) was a Tunisian statesman and the first President of the Republic of Tunisia from July 25, 1957 to November 7, 1987. He is often compared to Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk because of the pro-Western reforms enacted during his presidency. During the time Bourguiba was president, education was a high priority. Bourguiba also made an innovative difference within the Arab and Islamic world concerning women rights. He prohibited polygamy and he legalized divorce. He also raised the age at which girls could marry to 17 years of age.