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Quote of the day

“The Jordanian Citizenship Law is a sexist piece of legislation,” said Jordanian Minister of Interior Samir Habashneh when asked why Jordanian men married to Palestinian women can give the nationality to their spouses and children while Jordanian women married to Palestinian men can not do the same.

Source: [The Jordan Times]

No change to Citizenship Law — Habashneh

By Rana Husseini and Sahar Aloul

AMMAN — Minister of Interior Samir Habashneh on Sunday said the government has no intention of offering the Jordanian citizenship to children of Jordanian women married to Palestinian men until a settlement is reached in the Palestinian conflict.

“This issue is no longer possible because it means offering the citizenship to around half a million Palestinians in Jordan,” the minister said.

Habashneh made similar remarks on Saturday during a two-day seminar on the Elections Law in which he disclosed that there are about 60,000 Jordanian women married to Palestinian men.

The average number of children in each of these families is around 6.5, “which means giving the Jordanian citizenship to around 500,000 Palestinians,” according to Habashneh.

According to UNRWA figures, Jordan hosts the largest number of Palestinian refugees in the world numbering 1.7 million.

Habashneh explained that if Jordanian women married to Palestinian men are allowed to give their nationality to their spouses and offspring, “around half a million refugees will be settled in the country in contradiction with Jordan’s stand on the right of return for Palestinians.”

The minister also said that there are around 20,000 Jordanian women who are married to other nationalities.

When asked by The Jordan Times on the privilege that Jordanian men enjoy by giving the nationality to their Palestinian wives and children, Habashneh said, “the Jordanian Citizenship Law is a sexist piece of legislation.”

The minister told The Jordan Times the government is “seriously considering offering the citizenship to children of divorced, widowed or abandon Jordanian women who are married to non-Jordanians for humanitarian reasons.” During the opening of the 2nd Arab Women’s Summit held in Amman in November 2002, Her Majesty Queen Rania announced that the government intends to give the citizenship to children of Jordanian women married to foreigners.

“The government supports the Queen’s remarks and that is why we will consider giving the citizenship to children of widowed, abandoned and divorced women married to foreign men,” Habashneh said.

Amneh Zu’bi, president of the Jordanian Women’s Union, expressed dismay over Habashneh’s remarks.

“This is an unjust solution and contradicts the repeated demands the Jordanian women’s movement has made regarding this issue,” Zu’bi told The Jordan Times.

Zu’bi insisted that the majority of the women who visit the union are seeking legal help because of the discriminatory clauses related to Jordanian women married to Palestinians.

“Most of the tough cases we have been handling are cases of Jordanian women married to Palestinians who suffer from various burdens because they do not enjoy their full rights,” Zu’bi explained.

Families of these women have suffered from many obstacles, including having to pay large amounts of money for visas and residency permits imposed on their children and husbands as well as travelling between police stations and health institutions annually to obtain security clearances, in addition to medical reports for their foreign children.

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