Citizenship in Mali is governed by Loi No.2011-087 portant Code des personnes et de la famille. The new code repealed and replaced the 1962 Code de la nationalité as modified in 1995, removing remaining gender discrimination in the letter of the law.  The 1995 amendments had already increased rights for women and permitted dual nationality. The rules on attribution of nationality based on descent, however, depend on establishing descent through the procedures established by the family code, which — despite a long struggle by women’s rights activists — still privilege the rights of men.

The new family code retained the existing automatic attribution of nationality to a child born in Mali of one parent also born there; but amended the requirement that the parent be “of African origin” to require rather that the parent be a national of another African country.

In 2007, before the new family code was enacted, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about gender discrimination in the nationality law.  The Committee welcomed the adoption of Law No. 06-024 of 2006 on civil registration, making birth registration cost free, but regretted that birth registration was still not complete and urged simplification of the process and the creation of mobile registration units to serve rural populations. In 2016, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Mali remove remaining discriminatory provisions in its laws, including in the family code.