Citizenship in Mali is governed by the 2011 Code des personnes et de la famille. The new code repealed and replaced the 1962 Code de la Nationalité, as modified in 1995 to increase rights for women and permit dual nationality, and removed remaining gender discrimination in the letter of the law.  The rules on attribution of nationality based on descent, however, still depend on establishing descent through the procedures of the family code, which — despite a long struggle by women’s rights activists — 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 these 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, 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 discriminatory provisions in its laws, including in the family code.

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