Blog on equal citizenship rights for Arab women

Reader Christina notified me of a "nationality campaign" blog that was launched here in Washington DC last week. The blog, found here, features six organizations in the Middle East and North Africa that are working towards changing legislation so that women are granted equal citizenship rights. According to Christina, the aim of the blog is to create a network of concerned citizens that want to work together for change and to produce a constant resource for women and human rights activists dedicated to this issue.

I think this is a wonderful idea. Raising awareness about the rights of women to grant citizenship to their children is highly needed. Stripping me of the right to pass my kids Jordanian nationality means that every single time my future children (who have a non-Jordanian father) decide to visit Jordan they will need a tourist visa! If they ever decide to live in Jordan then they will need to get a residency permit, which would not be granted to them automatically. It is a long and hectic process! However, children of Jordanian men married to foreign women are granted nationality automatically. Sexism at its best!

By Natasha Tynes

I’m a Jordanian-American journalist, writer, and media development professional based in Washington, DC.


  1. How about if you lobby against the slaughter of Arab women in Iraq and Palestine and Lebanon by Americans, British, and Jews then we will take your concerns for Arab women’s rights more seriouly. Opps…I forgot…it’s OK to murder Arab women by the tens of thousands if the murderer is a white chirstian or jew.

  2. Euroarab your point is correct, but the struggle for equality and human rights does not go in phases. As much as we call for action against the massacres committed by Americans (and Iraqis as well) in Iraq and Israelis in Plaestine we must call for human rights in non-occupied Arab states. This cause is not sequential.

  3. I think this is a wonderful idea … thank you for notifying us Natasha … I will read more about it and I would love to participate 🙂

  4. Great post Natasha! Did you realise that in can affect children already living inside Arab countries? For example if a Syrian woman married a Syrian Kurd, their children would not obtain Syrian nationality and thus not the same rights to travel, work, own property etc etc

  5. Euroarab,
    I found your comments completely annoying. Here’s a better appeal, let’s stop arab men from touching and groping women in public, let’s stop arab countries from allowing men to kill women if they have sex, or even 3rei7et some gossip mn wa7ad mn il jeeran fadee asghal, let’s stop rape illi we hide and pretend doesn’t exist, and girls from going to jail cuz their fathers raped them, and let’s stop il gossip and blaming everything on the west, i7na jibna il bala 37alna, w every action has a reaction, and everything has consequences w Allah kbeer.

  6. I think Egypt still has that problem with mixed marriages. Most Arab countries would only grant citizenship if the father’s from that country.
    Long way to go yet…

  7. For those criticising euroarabe, the post that offended you was written by Hanna and *not* euroarabe!

  8. Yes, this is a big deal. I am an American married to a Saudi woman. We are still working on getting “permission” from the Saudis to even be married, let alone worrying about passing on citizenship to our two boys.

    Saudis, along with many Gulf states, must get permission from their government to marry non nationals. It is easy for Gulf men, but nearly so easy for Gulf women.

    As to the comment by Hanna, I dont think we have to concentrate on one issue and ignore the rest. Lets work to end the issues that the USA and the West are causing in the Middle East, but that doesnt mean we have to ignore issues like this which have consequences for many people.

    My wife and I cannot even go back to her country because they wont recognise our marriage. That is a big deal.

    At my blog I get all sorts of e-mails from women looking for solutions to these questions. It might not have been that big of an issue in the past, but it seems to be now.

  9. Stupid White American said “Here’s a better appeal, let’s stop arab men from touching and groping women in public,”

    Jennifir, Do you realise how twisted you sound? Is this a better appeal than to stop your mass murder of Arab women?

    Batir, you like to sound like a moderate but you are not. you are a useful person but not to arab causes. but I will go along with your argument. Why don’t you call on the organizers of this call for “equal citizenship rights for Arab women” to also call for stop to murder of Arab women and to make it an integral part of their call for teh defense of Arab women. After all, what good are equal citizenship rights if the US defends dictators who are corrupt and who impovrish women with their corrupt practices. How about if you call upon the organizers to consider the murder of Arab women by white chrstians and jews in iraq, lebanon, and palestine also an “obstacle” if I may use “rational and moderate terms” to full participation of arab women. After all, death is an “obstacle” (here goes my moderate use of words again). Also, how about if you call on the organizers to support democracies elected by men and women such as the one in palestine. a democracy that is being suffocated with Arab women being the victims of this suffocation.

    Lets call on the organizers to append their agenda to equally demand politcal change and an end to white chrstian and jewish violence against arab women and their support for corrupt and brutal dictators who impvrish arab women with their corrupt policies.

    Lets do it Barit. Show me you are balanced. prove to yourself and the readers that you are not just a “rational and moderate arab” (my apologies for use of such terms which are insults in the context of the American/Jewish use of such words)

    Lets show that our understanding of liberalism is not only to serve the murderous agenda of white christian and jews that we are not only useful idiots who endorse reforms that only advance intervention and bring more pain to the peopel that were suppose to be saved.

    Want to support Arab women Batir? Organize a rally in Amman to condemn their murder and to call for their equality at same time. not by starting a blog in Washington DC, where Americans voted for Bush despite the lies and despite the mass murders of Arabs.

    lets show some basic sensetivity for god’s sake instead of pretending that we are neutral to a country that kills arabs by the tens of thousands and supports those who do. how about some sensitivty, even if you don’t belive it, do it out of self-interest. after all, next time i run into you I don’t want to feel like I want to throw up.

  10. Blog Promotion for the Campaign

    Natasha (Twal) Tynes, a “Jordanian journalist freshly transplanted to the streets of the USA” has mentioned the Citizenship Campaign in her blog Mental Mayhem. In it, she describes the one issue that finds mention in many of the testimonies feature…

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