Global Petition: End Sexism in Nationality & Citizenship laws

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25 Jan 2016

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Home is where you belong, where you feel connected. Imagine then what it is like to be born without a nationality or to be denied the citizenship of your mother, or at times your father, because of discrimination in the law. Imagine the daily struggle to get access to education, health, jobs, voting, a driving license and other human rights, benefits and services that most citizens take for granted. Unfortunately, this is the reality for Nour from Lebanon, Shireen from Jordan and countless women and their families, despite repeated commitments by governments to ensure women’s equality by repealing or changing discriminatory laws. Now imagine being born with your rightful citizenship, secure in the knowledge that it is yours for a lifetime. And that one day, you will be able to pass on your nationality to your children and spouse, so that they too can enjoy their human rights and access the same freedoms, benefits and services to which we should all be entitled.

Sex discrimination persists in nationality and citizenship laws in over 50 countries around the world, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The laws themselves can be incredibly complex, but the solution is very simple – immediate legal reform.

Please add your name to the call to make equality reality!  We will be delivering the petition to the governments below to end the sex discrimination in their nationality laws before the UN Human Rights Council meeting in June 2016.  You can also Take Action on our country campaigns in Bahrain, Brunei, Jordan, Lebanon, Monaco, Swaziland, Togo, and the United States.

Download our report, The State We’re In: Ending Sexism in Nationality Laws

What You Can Do: 

TAKE ACTION NOW! << Click on this link to sign the petition.



Good laws that put women on an equal footing with men are necessary to protect and promote women's rights and facilitate their full social, economic and political participation. Legal equality gives women a level playing field from which to make their own choices, build their capabilities and realize their hopes and dreams, positively affecting the development of society in general.

We call on your government to comprehensively amend, as a matter of urgency, the sex discriminatory provisions in your laws relating to nationality so that women and men may pass on their nationality to their children and/or their spouses on an equal basis and free from discrimination. Women and men should also be granted the right to acquire, change or retain their nationality on an equal basis.

This petition calls on the governments of the following countries to amend all discriminatory provisions in their constitutions, laws, regulations and policies that prevent women and men from passing on their nationality to their children and their spouse on an equal basis: Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Brunei, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo (Republic of), Egypt, Guatemala, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Nauru, Nepal,  Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Yemen.