LEBANON, Beirut, 07 July. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A quarter of the world’s countries still have discriminatory nationality laws that deny women the same nationality rights as men, a report by the international human rights organization reveals. Equality Now. Women are prohibited from passing on their nationality to their children and foreign spouses, and they are subject to restrictions on changing or retaining their nationality after marriage. Those affected are at higher risk of suffering a series of human rights violations. Activists are calling on governments to dismantle sexist nationality laws and ensure full legal equality in citizenship.
The state we’re in: Ending sexism in nationality laws highlights how gender-discriminatory nationality laws persist in 49 countries – representing 25% of UN member states.
The Middle East and North Africa region has 17 countries that deny women equal nationality rights. They are: Bahrain; Egypt; Iran; Iraq; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Libya; Morocco; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; and Yemen.
Comparing different parts of the world, the MENA region has the highest rate of countries with nationality laws that discriminate against women.
Globally, women are prevented from passing on their nationality to their children on an equal basis with men in 28 countries. While in 46 countries, women are not allowed to transmit their nationality to their spouse on an equal footing.
There has been progress over the past decade. Important declarations have been made by various governments and 19 countries have carried out partial or complete legal reforms to achieve equality in nationality laws. However, many governments have failed to translate their commitments and policies into action, causing suffering for millions of people.
The damage caused by sexist nationality laws can be severe. Individuals may encounter restrictions on their right to marry or be unable to obtain a birth certificate for their child, rendering their offspring stateless.
A woman can be trapped in an abusive marriage when her child’s citizenship depends on her spouse, and it can be difficult for a mother to seek custody of her children or gain access to her children if her marriage ends.
Stateless people are generally not entitled to state-funded medical services or schooling. Access to jobs, economic opportunities and financial services is restricted.
Restrictions on freedom of movement and ineligibility for a passport make foreign travel difficult. Many experience the trauma of forced separation or live in fear that family members will be deported.
Antonia Kirkland, of Equality Now, said: “To deny women equal nationality rights with men is a clear form of gender discrimination and a human rights violation that contravenes international law. All women and men should be able to pass citizenship to their spouse and children, wherever they are born”.
“Equality Now calls on all governments with gender discriminatory legal provisions on nationality to review, amend and harmonize legislation by 2030 to ensure consistency between relevant laws and regulations, with equal and fair treatment for all women and all men.
Mmedia ask for information: Tara Carey, [email protected]+447971556340
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