Call for Nationality Law Reforms for Gender Equality in Middle East

Published: 1/Nov/2017
Source: Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights

In a first for the region, government representatives and civil society leaders from across the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region call for nationality law reforms to end discrimination against women, following a regional convening at the League of Arab States.

The “Conference for Arab States on Good Practices & Regional Opportunities to Strengthen Women’s Nationality Rights,” cosponsored by the United Nations Refugee Agency, UN Women, UNICEF, and the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights, was held October 1-2, 2017 at the League of Arab States in Cairo, and resulted in a groundbreaking and ambitious outcome statement (Arabic / English), endorsed by the Secretary General of the Arab League.

The statement calls on Arab League Member States to uphold equal nationality rights for all citizens, regardless of gender, and to nominate national focal points to brief the Arab League on this issue.  While gender-discriminatory nationality laws persist in many regions, the highest concentration – 19 out of 52 countries (36%) – is in the MENA region. Fourteen countries in the region deny women the ability to pass nationality to their children on an equal basis with men.

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Themes: Discrimination, Gender
Regions: North Africa
Year: 2017