Friday, December 2, 2011

AFP: UAE gives women right to pass nationality to children

Will other GCC countries follow?

AFP: UAE gives women right to pass nationality to children:

(AFP) – 1 day ago ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates announced Wednesday that children of Emirati women married to foreigners could apply for citizenship once they turned 18, moving closer to giving women the same nationality rights as men.

President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan decreed that the "children of women citizens married to foreigners should be treated as citizens," WAM state news agency reported.
In the move, the children are to get the "right to apply for citizenship when they reach 18," it added.

Most Arab countries link nationality to blood relation from the father's side, disenfranchising women who face various forms of gender discrimination across the region.

Tunisia had for a long time been the only country that gave men and women equal nationality rights with few other countries responding to continued campaigns for the regulation to be changed.

But in 2005, Algeria amended its nationality law, giving women the right to pass citizenship to their foreign husbands and children.

In 2007, Morocco said the children of Moroccan women will automatically get the nationality, while foreign husbands can demand the citizenship after five years of marriage and residency in the country.

Egypt followed suit giving women the right to pass their citizenship to their children.

In Kuwait if a Kuwaiti woman is married to a foreigner the only way her children can get nationality is if she gets divorced or widowed and that doesn't guarantee anything. With so much red tape the children will probably never get Kuwait nationality. My sister-in-law was married to an Egyptian and has a son and after getting divorced many years ago her son still doesn't have Kuwait nationality. Too much red tape.

My friends father is Egyptian and mother is Kuwaiti and she was divorced but until now they don't have Kuwait nationality and they are in their late 20's. I doubt they will ever see it. It's got to be hard living in Kuwait and have a Kuwaiti family but be recognized as Egyptian. But I guess when someone is in "love" they don't think about the future problems.

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