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Women’s movement celebrates amendments to Nationality Law


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The women’s movement in Jordan welcomed a recent parliamentary decision approving amendments to the Nationality Law that allows Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians to retain their nationality.
Earlier in the month, the Lower House of Parliament and the Senate Legal Committee approved the draft 2023 Citizenship Law, which aimed to facilitate procedures and address loopholes in the law. 
According to the bill, Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians would be able to retain their Jordanian nationality.
The validating reasons for the draft law included achieving harmony between laws related to restoring one’s nationality and allowing Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians, who renounced their Jordanian nationality and acquired their husbands’ nationality, to restore their Jordanian nationality without divorce. 
Before the law was passed, Jordanian women married to a non-Jordanian had to renounce their nationality, and were only able to regain it in the event of divorce or the death of the husband.
Meanwhile, Jordanian men married to non-Jordanian women had the right to keep their original nationality.
“This is an important and positive amendment,” Secretary General for the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) Maha Ali told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.
Ali, a former minister, added that “this was one of the demands that the JNCW advocated for with regard to women’s rights in general”.
“As in many cases, a woman married to a non-Jordanian may need to return to live in Jordan, and therefore it is important to be able to regain her Jordanian nationality,” Ali explained.
However, Ali maintained, “despite the positive impact of this amendment, it does not cover all the aspects that the JNCW aspires to, whether it is in terms of nationality or in other aspects related to women’s rights and women’s empowerment”.
“We need to have a more comprehensive view of various legislation that enables a supportive, decent and women-friendly work environment, as well as laws that facilitate and help women to fully participate and contribute to different aspects of the development of the country,” Ali stressed.
At present, the JNCW is working on updating a list of legislative demands prepared by the commission and its legal and economic teams and in consultation with different partners. The list contains comprehensive proposals for various pieces of legislation that reflect the priorities of Jordanian women at the national level, she added.
Therefore, the JNCW believes such reforms not only appear to be a positive step towards achieving equality between Jordanian women, regardless of the nationality of their husbands, but also an important step towards achieving equality for women more broadly.
Chairperson of the Forum of Jordanian Women Parliamentarians MP Mayada Al Shreim also welcomed the recent decision, saying it works to empower women and improve their living conditions.
“This new decision came to ensure justice for Jordanian women, and will work to empower them on many levels,” Shreim said in a press statement.
“My Nationality is the Right of My Family (MNRMF)” coalition member Aroub Soubh said this is a “step in the right direction”. 
“This condition of relinquishing citizenship for Jordanian women was unfair, since it discriminated against them,” Soubh, a journalist, told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.

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