Sierra Leone Enshrines Equal Right of Women to Pass Nationality to Children

Published: 8/Jul/2017
Source: Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights

The Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights joyfully welcomes the passage of Sierra Leone’s amended Citizenship Act, which now guarantees women and men the equal right to confer nationality on children. With this critical reform, only 25 countries remain worldwide that deny women the ability to pass their citizenship to their children on an equal basis with men.

Prior to the July 5 reform, the Citizenship Act of 1973 (amended 2006), denied Sierra Leonean women the right to confer nationality on their children born abroad, a right reserved for men. This reform advances commitments made by all members of the West African regional union ECOWAS to enshrine equal nationality rights for women – a critical step to ending statelessness and an obligation under the international Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which has been ratified by all but seven countries globally. Only two states in West Africa – Liberia and Togo – retain nationality laws that deny women the equal right to confer nationality on children, though governments in both countries have committed to address this discrimination in the law.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Acquisition by children, Discrimination, Gender
Regions: Sierra Leone
Year: 2017