Across the Machreq-Maghreb countries, women are being denied their universal right to nationality. In Lebanon, women do not have the same legal entitlements to citizenship as men.
If a Lebanese woman marries a foreign national she is not entitled to pass her nationality to her spouse and children. This is not the case for Lebanese men who are allowed by law to pass their nationality to both their spouses and their children.
This gendered inequality of citizenship is not only discriminatory, it denies women a basic human right and violates most Arab constitutions which do in fact recognize equal rights for women and men.
Why is nationality important?
• Directly linked to citizenship and enjoyment of citizenship rights and entitlements
• Indicates how citizenship is gendered
• Defines relation with the state
The denial of nationality…
• Leads to the violation of other basic rights and entitlements
• Places women in a subordinate “second class” position
• Undermines access to all other rights
• Has direct impact on children, spouses, voice and political representation
• Leads to marginalization and social exclusion
If a Lebanese woman marries a foreign national she is not entitled to pass her nationality to her spouse and children.The inability to extend her nationality not only denies a woman her full rights as a national, but also denies her children their basic rights as human beings.This exclusion may deny children basic rights to health care and education, or to marriage or travel. Furthermore, children excluded from nationality rights can be denied residence and deported, thus breaking families apart.International texts and Conventions prioritizing women’s right to Nationality:
1. Women’s right to nationality is upheld in international law through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights2. Women’s right to nationality is upheld in international law through the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)3. Women’s right to nationality is upheld in international law through the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
My Nationality is a Right for me and My Family Campaign, aims at:
- Promoting and strengthening active and inclusive citizenship
- Advocating for Arab women’s full access to and enjoyment of nationality and citizenship rights in 6 Arab countries: Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Bahrain.
- Mobilizing interest and concern in women’s right to nationality
- Reforming nationality law in Lebanon.
Do not hesitate to contact or join the Campaign via