Lebanon: Give women equal citizenship rights to men under the nationality law

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UPDATE 20 JANUARY 2016: Like Hiam, who is unable to transfer her Lebanese nationality on to her three daughters and Egyptian-born husband, Lebanese women and their families continue to suffer severe hardships under the country’s discriminatory nationality law. The CEDAW Committee specifically questioned the State’s reluctance to end the discrimination in its November 2015 report on the country, and called on the government to “adopt legislation ensuring women equal rights with men to confer their nationality to their foreign spouse and children.”

Equality Now and our partners continue to advocate at international and national levels as part of our global campaign to end sexism in nationality laws. Please continue to join the call to ensure equality and stability for Lebanese women. Thank you for your support.

Equality Now has just issued Women’s Action 36.2 - Lebanon: Give women equal citizenship rights to men under the nationality law. Equality Now commends the new regulations issued by the Minister of Labor Mr. Charbel Nahhas on 23 September 2011 introducing amendments to the labor law aiming to eliminate various forms of discrimination against the non-Lebanese spouses of Lebanese women and their children. These amendments will enhance the situation of families of Lebanese women married to non-Lebanese men, such as Hiam’s (highlighted in Women’s Action 36.1), but they do not go far enough. For example, Hiam’s family is still not able to access free health care and other social benefits due to their status as non-nationals and, if her daughters marry non-Lebanese citizens, they will have to leave the country. The Labor ministry’s positive steps therefore do not go far enough in fulfilling the rights of Lebanese women to confer their nationality to their spouses and children and to enjoy their basic human rights.

Please join us in calling upon the government of Lebanon to revise the nationality law urgently and comprehensively to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male or female, have the equal right to confer their Lebanese nationality on their spouses and children.