Jordan's new nationality law amendment is a 'step towards equal citizenship rights' for Jordanian women

Jordan's new nationality law amendment is a 'step towards equal citizenship rights' for Jordanian women
Jordan has made steps toward equality in law between Jordanian men and women.
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A draft amendment to Jordans Nationality Law seeks to allow Jordanian women to retain their nationality if they marry a non-Jordanian [Khalil Mazraawi/AFP via Getty]

Jordan's parliament on Monday approved a law granting Jordanian women married to non-Jordanian men the right to retain their nationality.

Previously, Jordanian women married to foreign men had to renounce their Jordanian nationality and could only regain it when their marriages ended through "divorce or widowhood". 

Jordanian men married to foreigners can retain their nationality.

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Director General of Civil Status and Passports Department (CSPD), Fahd Amoush, said the amendment aimed at promoting equality between Jordanian men and women in the eyes of the law.

Executive Director of Lawyers Without Borders, Saddam Abu Azzam, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab's Arabic-language sister publication: "This amendment strengthens the rights of Jordanian women, and is in line with the best international practices and agreements which Jordan has ratified - especially the agreement to end all forms of discrimination against women."

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He said the law continues the work of the Royal Committee to Modernise the Political System (RCMPS), after an amendment to Article 6 last year when the female noun was added to the constitution.

This was described as a step in the right direction toward equality between men and women.

Jordanian women's rights activists are also demanding the right to pass their nationality on to their children.

Abu Azzam explains that there are two systems when it comes to the granting of nationality that exist in the world - the first depends on residency, and the second relates to parentage. Jordan uses the latter system with children taking the nationality of their fathers.

"If we can get past the political concerns and issues that are associated with this decision, then it must be adopted," he said.

"[But] if this decision has political dimensions that are connected to the occupying Israeli entity, that could attempt to exploit it, in order to Judaise Palestinian lands, rid these lands of their [Palestinian] inhabitants, and deprive the Palestinian refugees their right of return, then we would need to beware of adopting this decision."


This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition. To read the original article click here.