× Stateless persons in the MENA

Regional and international standards

Displacement and statelessness

Arbitrary deprivation of nationality in the Gulf region

Gender discrimination in nationality laws

Country updates

Increased momentum on the issue

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Gender discrimination in nationality laws

To varying degrees, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Mauritania, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and the UAE still discriminate against women in the transferral of nationality. Gender discrimination can also be found in civil registration procedures that can also contribute to risks of statelessness.  Over the past two decades, countries across North Africa enacted gender equal nationality laws. However, since then, there has been little change in legislation in the region. There has, however, been significant momentum from civil society and international actors calling for reform. In Bahrain for example, activists and women rights organisations have been advocating for an amendment of the law for many years. In 2014 the Bahraini cabinet referred the issue to the legislature. At the outset of 2016 civil society in Bahrain discussed achieving equal nationality rights with the government at a conference organised by the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights, which followed a submission to the 26th UPR session by a civil society coalition. 

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