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Jordanian women demand citizenship rights ahead of elections Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Jordanian women demand citizenship rights ahead of elections

The campaign has re-emphasised its call over the past few weeks [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 September, 2016

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The up-coming Jordanian parliamentary vote has proved a focal point for a campaign for the right of citizenship to be passed through the mother's line in Jordan.
A campaign for the right of citizenship to be passed through the mother's line was renewed this week as Jordan prepares for parliamentary elections set for Tuesday.

"My mother is Jordanian and her nationality is a right for me" took off in 2007 demanding full rights for the children of Jordanian women with foreign spouses. 

Jordanian law currently holds that such children have no automatic rights of citizenship and are often left at a disadvantage in a country where foreigners have limited social and economic rights.

In attempt to sgain support from candidates hoping for election, the campaign has re-emphasised its call over the past few weeks.

While Jordanian authorities eased some restrictions on the children of Jordanian women two years ago, major obstacles remain in granting them citizenship. 

"Since 2014, the changes announced by the government had very little impact on the lives of children of Jordanian women," Rami al-Wakeel, coordinator of the campaign, told The New Arab. 

"They still fall short of granting automatic citizenship to the children of Jordanian mothers married to non-Jordanians."

In 2014, the Jordanian government announced an easing of restrictions faced by children of Jordanian mothers and foreign spouses by issuing identification documents that grants them basic civil rights.

"What we want is equal civil rights for all Jordanians," Wakeel added.

The up-coming Jordanian parliamentary elections to be held on September 20 has proved a focal point for the campaign.

"Elected lawmakers can play an important role in defending this cause of the children of Jordanian women from foreign spouses," Wakeel said.

The campaign's Facebook page published a list of the electoral candidates whom it said supported their campaign. 

According to official statistics, around 89,000 Jordanian women are married to non-Jordanian men.

In 2014, the Jordanian government announced an easing of restrictions faced by children of Jordanian mothers and foreign spouses by issuing identification documents that grants them basic civil rights.

Since then, 56,000 IDs were issued to children of Jordanian women married to foreigners.

The IDs enabled them to obtain driving licences and gain access to governmental services, such as free healthcare and education, as well as work permits and enabling them to own property in Jordan.

As election-day looms, campaigners and the children of Jordanian women denied citizenship hope the calls are successful in securing legislation after a new parliament is sworn in this year.

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