Bassil to present bill allowing women to pass on citizenship

Bill to allow Lebanese women to pass on citizenship to their children.

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil announced a bill to allow Lebanese women to pass on citizenship to their children when married to non-Lebanese nationals will be presented to Cabinet

Bassil said the proposal would amend a 1925 law that barred Lebanese women from passing their citizenship to their children.
There are strange, unacceptable and illogical provisions in our Lebanese law that lead us to address them,” Bassil said.

The right provided by the new law would not apply to Lebanese women who marry men from “neighboring” countries.
The exception is a provision to restrict “naturalization” in general.

The minister also called for Lebanese men to no longer be able to pass on their Lebanese citizenship to spouses from neighboring countries as part of the proposed law.
What is not allowed for women should not be allowed for men,” Bassil said.

Bassil said the move was in line with the Lebanese constitution, which prevents discrimination on the basis of gender, in addition
to “international agreements,” such as the 1979 United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The announcement was made at a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Ashrafieh . It follows years of protests by Lebanese women under the slogan “my citizenship is my dignity.”

Protests have increased in recent weeks as Lebanon heads towards the country’s first parliamentary elections in nine years.

Bassil said he expected “a lot of talk” on the law, and acknowledged the timing of his proposal – just 46 days before elections on May 6. He indicated voters could pressure MP’s to adopt the bill before elections are held or candidates to elections to consider this law part of their program.