Citizenship rights

Soheila Vahdati Bana

Elevating the issues of Iran’s women to the world’s stage
Sohelia Vahdati Bana

1. What is the current status of women’s rights in Iran?

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

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2011 Nov 29
Update Date: 
2013 Feb 11
Update: 

UPDATE 11 FEBRUARY 2013: The Ministerial Committee established to study Lebanon’s nationality law has failed to meet the aspirations of Lebanese women married to non-nationals. In a disappointing decision, the Ministerial Committee concluded on 14 December 2012 that Lebanese women should not be granted the right to pass their nationality to their children and spouses, a decision made public on 16 January 2013. Instead, it recommended to the Prime Minister that restrictions on children of Lebanese women married to non-nationals relating to resident permits, education, work in the private sector and access to state medical care should be eased. If implemented, these recommendations are welcome in that they should alleviate the hardships experienced by the children of Lebanese women married to non-Lebanese men. However, campaigners still want removed, once and for all, the discrimination that treats Lebanese women and men differently under the nationality law.

>> TAKE ACTION NOW! Please continue, in support of Lebanese women campaigning for their rights, to urge the President and the Prime Minister to revise the nationality law urgently and comprehensively to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male and female, have the equal right to confer their Lebanese nationality on their spouses and children.


 

Hiam Abd El Samad
 Hiam Abd El Samad

In July 2010, Equality Now issued Women’s Action 36.1 calling on the government of Lebanon to recognize the adverse effects that the discriminatory

What You Can Do: 

Please continue to write to the Lebanese authorities listed below welcoming these new labor regulations but asking them 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.

>> TAKE ACTION NOW!

Letters should go to:

President Michel Suleiman
President of Lebanon
Baabda - The Presidential Palace
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 5 900900
Tel: +961 5 900919
Email: president_office@presidency.gov.lb

Mr. Tammam Salam
Prime Minister
Grand Serail
Riad Solh Street
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 865630
Tel: +961 1 746 800
Email: conseilm@pcm.gov.lb

With copies to:

Mrs. Wafa Suleiman
President - National Commission of Lebanese Women
Hazmieh - Main Road - Chahine Commercial Center - 2nd Floor
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 5 955 103
Tel: +961 5 955 101/2
Email: info@nclw.org.lb

Letters: 

Dear President/ Prime Minister:

I am writing to express my support of Lebanese women campaigning for their rights to pass their nationality on to their children and non-national spouses. I am concerned that the Ministerial Committee established to study Lebanon’s nationality law did not meet the aspirations of Lebanese women married to non-nationals by failing to recommend ways to revise the nationality law in order to guarantee full equality between women and men in this regard.

I understand that the Ministerial Committee concluded on 18 December 2012 that Lebanese women should not be granted the right to pass their nationality to their children and spouses, and instead recommended only that restrictions on children of Lebanese women married to non-nationals should be eased in relation to resident permits, education, work in the private sector and access to state-medical care.

While I welcome these recommendations to alleviate the hardships experienced by children of Lebanese women married to non-nationals, they do not treat Lebanese women as equal citizens under the nationality law as required by the Constitution and Lebanon’s international legal obligations. These women and their families will continue to face difficulties in their daily lives. I therefore urge you to revise the nationality law without delay to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male and female, have the equal right to confer their nationality on their children and spouses.

Thank you for your attention.

Women's Rights Slipping Away in the Aftermath of the Egyptian Revolution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
23 July 2011
Contact: NAIROBI: Mary Ciugu, (254) 20 271-9832/913, equalitynownairobi@equalitynow.org
NEW YORK: Karen Asare, (01) 212-586-0906
LONDON: Jacqui Hunt, (44) (0) 20-7839-5456

Equality Now & SOAWR Release Guide on Groundbreaking Protocol on Rights of Women in Africa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 July 2011
Contact: NAIROBI: Mary Ciugu, (254) 20 271-9832/913, equalitynownairobi@equalitynow.org

Equality Now and Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Release New Practical Guide on Using the Groundbreaking Protocol on Rights of Women in Africa

How-to-Guide will Equip Activists with Strong Tools to Protect and Advance African Women's Rights

Egypt: Ensure women’s rights are integrated in post-revolution Egypt

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2011 Jul 10
Update Date: 
2013 Mar 14
Update: 

UPDATE 14 MARCH 2013: The Egyptian Constitution was approved by referendum in December 2012 despite a turnout of less than 33%, a yes vote of less than 64% of the turnout, and continuing concerns at the lack of transparency and inclusivity in the drafting process. Parliament is still dissolved and proposed elections were recently suspended by the court.

Equality Now is strategizing with its Egyptian partners on the best way to push for women’s rights, including with regard to the repeal or amendment of laws that discriminate against women and ensuring the meaningful integration of women in all political processes. Of immediate serious concern are the recent attacks on women in Tahrir Square including their subjection to sexual harassment and gang rape. We will have further information shortly on how you can support the work on the ground to address this.


UPDATE 7 March 2012: Despite the promise of the early political changes in Egypt, which inspired the belief that a newly democratic country would include women as full social and political partners, Egyptian women rather fear further deterioration of their rights. Marching in Cairo on International Women’s Day, 8 March, they are calling again for implementation of the Egyptian Women’s Charter, drawn up last year by more than 3,000 women and endorsed by half a million Egyptian citizens, both men and women. Equality Now supports the continuing efforts of Egypt’s women to hold Egyptian authorities accountable for the promotion and protection of their human rights. Since June 2011, women have lost seats in Parliament and presently there are only three women in the Cabinet. TAKE ACTION NOW! Please join us in urging the Egyptian authorities to realize the following demands being made by Egyptian women at the march:

  1. Achieve equality among all citizens, women and men, in the provisions of the constitution and all laws, and create mechanisms that will ensure their proper implementation and recourse for any violations.
  2. Ensure gender equality and fair representation of qualified and experienced women in the committee that will write the new constitution. 
  3. Take appropriate measures to ensure fair political participation of women at all levels of decision-making: in political parties, trade unions and state institutions.
  4. Preserve the social and economic rights achieved by women in their previous struggles and ensure their ability to attain them.
  5. Comply with all international treaties that protect the rights of women, children and human beings in general, and work on lifting reservations to the CEDAW convention.
  6. Establish full citizenship rights and the rule of law that will lead to the revocation of all forms of discrimination based on sex, age, marital status, class, ideological affiliation, etc.

Partners in the revolution and democratic Egypt ©UN Women

Partners in the revolution and democratic Egypt ©UN Women

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Egyptian authorities urging them to take steps to meet the demands laid out in the Women’s Charter.  Call upon them to ensure that 30% of electoral lists are comprised of women so that women have the opportunity to participate in the political life of the country.  The new government should, among other things, ensure that women are represented on the constitutional committee; that at least 40% of ministerial posts go to women; that discriminatory legislation is reviewed and revised; that women have equal access to the same employment and business opportunities as men; and that a strong women’s machinery is established.  Remind the authorities that they should live up to Egypt’s obligations under CEDAW, the ICCPR and the ICESCR.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Letters should go to:

  • Prime Minister Mr. Hesham Qandil, Magless El Shaàb Street, Al Kasr El Einy, Cairo, EGYPT / Phone: +202-2793-5000, Fax: +202-2795-8048, Email: pm@cabinet.gov.eg

With a copy to:

  • Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, 11 Al’ourubah Street, Cairo, EGYPT / Fax: +202-241-83761,  E-mail: amd@mmc.gov.eg (note: some emails have not been going through to this address; online signatures will be collected and faxed.)

Letters: 

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to express support for the continuing demand of Egyptian women to be fully integrated in all post-revolution institutions and policy frameworks as laid out in the Egyptian Women’s Charter that has been signed by more than 500,000 people and submitted to you by Michele Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women.  

Egyptian women worked side-by-side with men in the revolution and deserve to be recognized as full and equal citizens post-revolution. This would be in line with the Egyptian constitution and Egypt’s international obligations, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The Women’s Charter lays out concrete steps towards gender equality that will be reiterated on International Women's Day 2012. I urge you to ensure that: 

  • Women are represented in the committee that will be entrusted with drafting the new constitution, in all legislative committees, and in all dialogue forums that discuss national issues;
  • Women occupy at least 40% of the ministerial positions and 30% of parliamentary electoral lists are comprised of women;
  • The new constitution clearly spells out full equality between men and women in all spheres of life;
  • Women are provided equal opportunities in accessing the labor markets, credit, capital and skills training and protection from any kind of sexual harassment in the workplace;
  • All discriminatory legislation against women is reviewed and revised and in particular Family Law is reformed to reflect human dignity and justice for all members of the family;
  • Women graduates of law schools are provided equal opportunities to acquire judiciary posts;
  • A strong national women’s machinery is established along with gender focal points in all ministries and governorates; a gender equality committee is established inside the parliament; and an Ombudsperson for gender equality is appointed to ensure gender mainstreaming in all policies, plans and programs of the government; and 
  • A national policy is formulated to reflect a positive image of women and to help create a culture with no discrimination against women.

Such steps will ensure that Egyptian women and men have a brighter future based on self-determination, mutual respect and dignity.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

cc: Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
Fax: +202 241 83761

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

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2010 Jul 12

Hiam Abd El SamadHiam Abd El Samad and her Egyptian husband Anwar Hasaneen married in Lebanon 23 years ago and have three daughters Nour 17, ‘Amar 12 and ‘Ayia 9 years. The family continues to reside in Lebanon, which they consider their home. However, because Hiam cannot pass her Lebanese nationality to her husband and daughters under Lebanese nationality law, the family has had to suffer significant hardships and deprivation.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Lebanese President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House and the Minister of Justice asking them to recognize the adverse effects that the discriminatory Lebanese nationality law has on the families of Lebanese women married to foreign men and, accordingly, to revise the Lebanese nationality law to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male or female, have the equal right to confer their Lebanese nationality on their spouses and children. TAKE ACTION!

Letters should go to:

President Michel Suleiman
President of Lebanon
Baabda - The Presidential Palace
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 425 393
Tel: +961 5 468 390 / 457 111
Email: open@presidency.gov.lb
president_office@presidency.gov.lb

Mr. Nabih Berri
Speaker of the House
Najmeh Square
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 983 059
Tel: +961 1 982 045/9
Email: President@lp.gov.lb

Mr. Mohamed Najeb Mikati
Prime Minister
Grand Serail
Riad Solh Street
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 746 805 / +961 1 980 500
Tel: +961 1 746 800 00 / +961 1 983 022 to 30

Mr. Shakib Qorthbawi
Minister of Justice
P.O. Box 9400
Badaro - Sami el Solh Street
Near the Palace of Justice
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 427 975
Tel: +961 1 422 944
Email: info@justice.gov.lb

With copies to:

Mrs. Wafa Suleiman
President - National Commission of Lebanese Women
Hazmieh - Main Road - Chahine Commercial Center - 2nd Floor
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 5 955 103
Tel: +961 5 955 101/2
Email: info@nclw.org.lb

Mr. Marwan Charbel
Minister of Interior & Municipalities
Sanayeh
P.O. Boxes 9710 and 9500
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 744 429
Tel: +961 1 750 607, +961 1 751 607
Email: info@moim.gov.lb

Sample letter

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