Lebanese Women Fight Back Against New Citizenship Law
Long-suffering Lebanese women, particularly those who are married to foreign men, have had enough of being treated as second-rate citizens, incapable of passing their nationality on to their children.
Lebanese women expressed their anger through the “my nationality is a right for me and for my family” campaign after Lebanon’s parliament passed a law that grants the nationality to the bloodline of the father, but not the mother.
The campaign released a statement on Wednesday that came as a response to the amendments that were added to the law of only granting Lebanese nationality to the father’s bloodline.
“It sadly reflects the contentious approach to women’s issues from a masculine point of view that eliminates them [women] and deprives them of their rights,” said a press release of the campaign.
The amendments were made by Minister of Interior Marwan Charbel and the law passed on December 12.
The campaign says the vote was quick, on the law itself and on the amendments. The campaign, which was started 7 years ago, is tirelessly seeking to grant Lebanese women who are married to foreign men the same citizenship rights as their co-nationals.
The campaign said that the ministers justified the decision to involve ex-pats in the economy and politics of Lebanon “in the same time that hundreds of thousands of working and affective women, who support the economy, are deprived of their citizenship rights.”
The campaign said it presented a law draft to Prime Minister Naguib Miqaty three month ago in order to achieve equality between both genders and has yet to receive a response.
“We condemn the re-deprivation of Lebanese women of their full rights as if the blood in their veins are not Lebanese and they are not part of the family structure,” the campaign said.
Finally, the campaign called on Parliament to wait and discuss the law more in detail, so equality could be reached.
Other countries in the region have passed Lebanon, a country known for its liberal social structure and high status of women. Egypt passed a law in 2004 that grants the children of Egyptian mothers married to a foreign man full citizenship, followed by Algeria in 2005 and most recently Morocco, who amended its law in 2007.
By Manar Ammar
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