Our Motherland, Our Country: Gender Discrimination in the Middle East and North Africa
In the Middle East and North Africa region, there is a large and growing number of stateless individuals, i.e. those who do not possess nationality due to various reasons such as stateless parents, failure to register for citizenship, and gender discriminatory laws. Because these individuals lack documentation linking them to the state in which they live, they are deprived of the rights that a national would enjoy, such as the issuing of birth and marriage certificates as well as schooling and work. The situation worsens when gender discriminatory laws and custom reproduce statelessness in new generations, who are unable to practice their agency and pursue their ambitions. A new report examines the relationship between gender discrimination and statelessness in the Middle East.
The Women's Refugee Commission and the Statelessness Program of Tilburg Law School have published a report on the relationship between gender discrimination and statelessness in the Middle East. This report uses four countries, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, and Morocco, as case studies in order to understand and explain the different aspects of gender discrimination and statelessness. The report examines the effect of statelessness on processes of life, such as starting a family, which stateless individuals are often unable to do due to lack of documentation, lack of financial resources, and inability to find partners. The report also examines the effect of statelessness on family (dis)unity and property rights. Importantly, there is also a discussion of the psychological wellbeing of individuals within families suffering from statelessness, and this discussion includes both those who are stateless and those who hold nationality. The writers of the report also offer several important recommendations to states, civil society, and international organizations, to improve the situation of stateless individuals.