Jordan: Give women equal citizenship rights to men

Learn more about sex discriminatory nationality laws in Jordan

“(My mother is) Jordanian & her nationality is my right.”

17 MARCH 2017 UPDATE:  Promises of free access to public schools and health care, access to jobs, residence permits, driver’s licenses and the permission to own property and invest in business, among other rights, have not been fulfilled by the Jordanian government.

Therefore, in solidarity with Jordanian women married to non-nationals and their children, the “My mother is Jordanian and her nationality is my right for me” campaign is rallying in front of the Jordanian Parliament in Amman on 21 March 2017. The demonstration recognizes the government’s failure to end sex discrimination in the country’s nationality law and to deliver on the November 2014 promise to give “privileged services” (Mazaya) to children affected by the discrimination.

Following our June 2016 joint submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Violence against Women (CEDAW), the Committee also recommended that Jordan amend its Nationality Act and implement the Mazaya without further delay in its concluding observations of the country, released on 3 March 2017. In solidarity with Jordanian women and their families, please join Equality Now and our partners to renew the call for Jordan to amend its law so that women are able to enjoy the same nationality rights as men!

Equality Now has issued an Action calling on Jordanian authorities to amend their Nationality Law to give women equal citizenship rights with men in accordance with Jordan’s international legal obligations.

Under Jordanian Law No.6 of 1954 on Nationality, last amended in 1987, with few exceptions, Jordanian women married to non-Jordanian men cannot transmit their nationality to their husbands or their children – causing severe hardships and suffering for all involved. Take the case of Shireen, who lives in Jordan with her non-Jordanian husband and their children:

Due to the country’s sex discriminatory nationality law, Shireen’s passport is stamped with the notice: “Children are not permitted to be included in the mother’s passport due to the husband’s different nationality.” She has a troubled marriage and lives in constant fear that her husband will take her children away to his home country, which he can do since their children are only registered on his passport. If he leaves the country with them, her only recourse would be to follow him and apply in his country of origin for access or custody of her children. Even then, she may have difficulty bringing them back to Jordan since they are not listed on her passport. Due to her own experiences, Shireen does not want her daughter to marry a non-national. She thinks that marrying her off at an early age to a Jordanian man would give her daughter the sense of security and protection that she herself does not have.

To combat this law, which does not apply equivalently to Jordanian men and which is negatively impacting the security and livelihood of women married to non-nationals, Nima Habashna founded the campaign “My mother is Jordanian, and her nationality is a right for me.”  Led by Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians and with the support of the Arab Women Organization, Nima is leading a series of sit-ins in front of the Ministry of the Interior and other government offices. Although elections for the new Jordanian parliament are pending, a Cabinet is still operating which has the power to pass a temporary amendment.

Please join us by:

  • Calling on Jordanian government officials to amend the Nationality Law to give Jordanian women the equal right to pass their nationality on to their children and spouses without delay. 
  • Calling on the government to implement the increased rights for children announced on 9 November as soon as possible
  • Calling on the Minister of the Interior to accelerate governmental efforts to facilitate provision of residence permits to foreign spouses of Jordanian women until the Nationality Law is amended.

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