Source: Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights
The Supreme Court of Sudan reaffirmed the right Sudanese women to confer nationality on their children in a July 6 decision. This important advancement for gender equal nationality rights underscores the need for the country’s Nationality Act to be aligned with the country’s Interim Constitution and international law.
Though the Interim Constitution (2005) enshrines the equal right of men and women to pass nationality to their children, the Sudanese Nationality Act (amended 2011) retains several provisions that discriminate against women. While Sudanese men automatically confer citizenship on their children, the children of Sudanese women and foreign fathers are required to submit an application in order to acquire citizenship. Sudanese women are also unable to confer nationality on foreign spouses, a right reserved for Sudanese men. The Nationality Act further states that nationals who acquire South Sudanese citizenship will be stripped of their Sudanese citizenship.
The Supreme Court’s decision focused on Adel Burai Ramadan, a formerly Sudanese citizen who was stripped of his nationality on the basis that his (formerly Sudanese) father acquired South Sudanese citizenship. In stripping Ramadan of this citizenship, the Ministry did not recognize Ramadan’s right to citizenship from the maternal line. The Court ordered that Sudanese citizenship be restored to Ramadan without delay.