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Jordan: Give women equal citizenship rights to men

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

28 MARCH 2018 UPDATE:  “My children are in deep depression, despair and stress all the time. My 23 –year- old son is planning to immigrate to Canada after he lost hope to be treated equally to his peers in Jordan. I really hope that my children will be freed from the racist restrictions imposed on them, just because their mother decided to marry a non-national,”  Fouziah (not her real name) told our representative in Amman.  

Thousands of Jordanian women like Fouziah continue to suffer as Jordan has not implemented its November 2014 pledge  to grant certain rights, or “privileged services” (Mazaya), to children of Jordanian mothers and foreign fathers.  Four years later, their  children are still treated and considered to be foreigners, while  pledges 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 things, remain unfulfilled. 

During a March 2018 national conference organized by Equality Now’s partner, the Arab Women Organization (AWO), the urgent need to amend the nationality law so that Jordanian women can enjoy the same rights as their male peers to pass on their nationality, was a priority discussion.  And with the new United Nations Universal Periodic Report (UPR) session coming in October 2018, AWO will submit a shadow report calling for Jordan to adhere to its 2014 commitments to end discrimination in the nationality law. 

TAKE ACTION! Please renew the call to Jordan government officials to equalize the nationality law without delay. In the meantime, urge them to fulfil their promises by implementing the Mazaya

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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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