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Discrimination against women in nationality

Working Group on discrimination against women and girls

Women in certain countries do not enjoy equal rights with men to acquire, change and retain their nationality. Some are not allowed to transfer nationality to their children or spouses on the same basis, which very often results in statelessness.

A 2017 position paper looks at the impacts of discriminatory laws concerning nationality on the enjoyment of women’s rights, and the rights of their children and spouses.

The paper highlights the various ways our Working Group has engaged and advocated for legal reform on this issue, such as:

  • Through thematic analyses such as the political and public life report, and the family and cultural life report, which look at how unequal nationality laws violate a women’s right to citizenship, and obstruct women’s equality in the family, as well as her mobility
  • By meeting directly with states, such as during visits to Morocco and Kuwait, to make recommendations to amend laws
  • Through written campaigns to States urging them to reform discriminatory nationality laws

Download the position paper on discrimination against women in nationality