Activists renew demand for full citizenship rights for families of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians

Jordanian men married to non-Jordanian women can pass on their citizenship to their wives and children, a right that is denied to Jordanian women married to foreigners

  
Imag used for illustrative purpose. Sabah Bani-Salman, a Jordanian woman who maintains the tradition of using traditional ovens, hosts friends and neighbours for breakfast at her home in the city of Ajloun, Jordan, October 26, 2020. Picture taken October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Imag used for illustrative purpose. Sabah Bani-Salman, a Jordanian woman who maintains the tradition of using traditional ovens, hosts friends and neighbours for breakfast at her home in the city of Ajloun, Jordan, October 26, 2020. Picture taken October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN — Activists on Wednesday stressed that citizenship rights for families of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians remain a major demand that will be continuously pursued by the women’s movement.

The call was made during the “National Conference: The Right to Citizenship and Nationality from a Gender Perspective” that was held virtually, organised by Solidarity is Global Institute (SIGI).

The conference was part of SIGI’s campaign “Equality in Nationality and Citizenship Rights”.

As it stands now, Jordanian men married to non-Jordanian women can pass on their citizenship to their wives and children, a right that is denied to Jordanian women married to foreigners.

Director of Programmes and Activities at SIGI lawyer Rana Abul Sundus said that this is an old demand for over two decades by the women’s movement.

“We have been receiving complaints and demands by these families of the suffering they endure on a daily basis because they are not treated as full citizens,” Abul Sundus pointed out.

The women’s movement and families of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians have for years been demanding full citizenship rights for them.

However, individuals and entities who oppose granting citizenship to family members of these women, particularly those with Palestinian husbands, say the measure will only lead Israel to implement its “ultimate plan of creating a substitute homeland for Palestinians in Jordan”.

Palestinians, except Gazans, who became refugees after the creation of Israel on Palestinian land, and those who were living in the West Bank when it was occupied by Israel in 1967, have been granted Jordanian citizenship.

The activists agreed during the event to continue to press the government and legislators to amend the laws to ensure that women could pass on the citizenship to their children and spouses.

They also announced that they are forming a coalition to work with other groups who are advocating for citizenship rights such as Nimah Coalition.

In 2014, the government had pledged to ensure the proper application of the “privileges” the government had granted to children of Jordanian women, provided that their mothers had been living in Jordan for a minimum of five years, for at least 180 days per year.

These included the rights to residency permits, applying for a driver’s licence and owning property, as well as educational, health, labour and investment services.

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