We have seen good progress in achieving equality in nationality laws with 19 countries making partial or full legal reforms and making significant commitments at the regional and global levels since Equality Now began in-depth work advocating for the reform of sex discriminatory nationality and citizenship laws globally almost a decade ago. Since the March 2016 launch of The State We’re In: Ending Sexism in Nationality Laws alone, four countries we highlighted – Guinea, Lesotho, Nauru, and the Solomon Islands – have achieved full legal equality in nationality rights, and another eight have achieved important reforms or taken important steps towards reform. Feminist movements and coalitions, including the Global Campaign for Equality Nationality Rights of which Equality Now is a founding steering committee member, have contributed significantly to this progress.
Despite this progress, sex discriminatory nationality laws still exist, however, in 49 countries (25% of UN member states).
Discriminatory nationality laws have an enormous impact on women and their families, often violating their rights to health, education, employment, and non-discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and religion, etc. They also limit women’s participation in public life.
As the world begins to build back from the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope governments will find new inspiration to undertake all necessary legal reforms so that all women and men can enjoy equal nationality rights and participate as full citizens, at all levels of society.