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Activists plan sit-in over rights of Jordanian women married to foreigners

Protesters denounce government’s ‘empty promises’

By Rana Husseini - Jul 16,2017 - Last updated at Jul 16,2017

Activists have staged over 75 sit-ins in various parts of the country since 2009 for rights of Jordanian women married to foreigners (Photo courtesy of ‘My Mother is Jordanian and her nationality is a right for me’ Facebook page)

AMMAN — Families of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians are due to hold a new sit-in demonstration at the Prime Ministry on July 26 to protest the government’s “failure to meet its pledges in granting full citizenship rights,” organisers said on Sunday.

“The government made many promises in previous months to ease our lives, but nothing really happened and we are suffering at most governmental institutions,” said Rami Wakeel, one of the lead campaigners of “My Mother is Jordanian and her nationality is a right for me”.

Wakeel said that children of non-Jordanian fathers are still suffering “when being issued driving licences, residency and work permits”.

“The government’s promises are just illusions. In reality, we are still suffering and nothing is changing,” he told The Jordan Times.

Amman Third District Deputy Khalid Ramadan, who has previously joined the group’s demonstrations, said he and other deputies have been “following up on the demands with several government agencies, but to no avail”.

“It is obvious to us that the government is backing off from the pledges made by the previous government and it is mainly due to the bureaucratic procedures and carelessness on the part of official government agencies,” Ramadan told The Jordan Times.

The MP urged the group to take to the street and protest because “it is their right and because we are unable to do anything since the government is not responding to our demands”.

In 2014, the government pledged to ensure the proper application of the “privileges” the government granted to children of Jordanian women, provided that their mothers had been living in Jordan for a minimum period of five years, for at least 180 days per year.

Some of the privileges included providing residency permits, applying for driving licences and real-estate ownership, as well as availing of benefits in the educational, health, labour and investment sectors.

Protesters have repeatedly complained that government agencies are not recognising the official identification documents that were issued to the children of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians. 

Others complained about their inability to donate blood to their loved ones, to enroll in public universities, which has instead forced them to enroll in expensive private universities, and highlighted the hurdles and restrictions they face when travelling abroad and reentering the country.

Most protesters said that the identification documents issued by the Civil Status and Passports Department (CSPD) were “useless” and “not acknowledged by many government institutions”.

The demonstrators have staged over 75 sit-ins in various parts of the country since the late Nimeh Habashneh started the campaign on Facebook in 2009. 

Government officials have previously stated that there were 88,983 Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians, mostly Gazans, and that these families have 355,932 children registered with the CSPD.

Palestinians, except Gazans, who became refugees after the creation of Israel on Palestinian land, and those who were living in the West Bank when it was occupied by Israel in 1967, have been given Jordanian citizenship.

 Women’s rights activists have been demanding that Jordanian women be allowed to pass on their citizenship to their children and spouses for years, a right that only men enjoy.

 

Individuals and entities who oppose granting citizenship to family members of these women, particularly those with Palestinian husbands, say such a measure will only lead Israel to implement its “ultimate plan of creating a substitute homeland for Palestinians in Jordan”.

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I SERIOUSLY THINK THAT JORDAN TIMES HAS PROVIDED ALL JORDANIANS THE CHANCE TO WEIGH IN ON THE POLICIES OF THEIR GOVERNMENT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS. JUST RECENTLY, I GOT A REQUEST FROM MY BEST FAMILY FRIEND'S DAUGHTER IN JORDAN WHO JUST GRADUATED FROM UJ LAST YEAR ASKING ME TO HELP A RELATIVE (YOUNG MAN)WHO ALSO GRADUATED FROM UJ MEDICAL SCHOOL TO GET RESIDECE TRAINING IN BOSTON AND MY RESPONSE WAS CLEAR AND SIMPLE. SORRY I COULD NOT EVEN THINK OF DOING THIS FOR MEN WHO DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY THINKS THAT ITS FUNNY TO ACCOMODATE GENDER BASHING AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN. I HOWEVER MADE IT BE KNOWN TO HER THAT I WILL DO THIS FOR ANY JORDANIAN WOMAN AT ANY TIME ANY WHERE. SHE WAS SHOCKED AND SAYING THAT SHE NOW UNDERSTAND THE TOXIC EFFECTS OF HER COUNTRY"S POLICY AGAINST JORDANIAN WOMEN MARRIED TO NON JORDANIAN MEN. THE SAID YOUNG DOCTOR IS SMART AND HAS DONE NOTHING TO WARRENT THE RESULT HE GOT FROM ME BUT A SPILL OVER EFFECT. DR.MAHER IS CORRECT BECAUSE THE NATIONALITY OF THEIR FATHER IS IRRELIVANT SINCE JORDANIAN MEN ENJOY THE VALUES OF USA AND OTHER NATIONS'S PASSPORTS SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE MARRIED TO WOMEN FROM THESE OTHER COUNTRIES. UNFORTUNATELY DR.MAHER, YOU ARE NOT IN CHARGE FOR THESE POLICIES AND SO THE LEGAL DOCTINE OF " THE MASTER IS IN CHARGE ) HAS THE FINAL SAY.

its only civilized to give those children the same nationality mother's have. why deprive them and deny them those rights? I think the government needs a serious straight action, regardless if the fathers from Gazza or Mozambique. the government in my opinion is really rusty when it comes to making decisions. therefore I think I should be the one in charge.

IF THERE IS ANY ONE SINGLE POLICY THAT POTRAY OR BETRAY JORDAN AS A MODEL FOR PROGRESSIVE GENDER RIGHT CHAMPION IN THE ARAB WORLD, IT IS THIS ISSUES OF MARRIAGE RULES BUT RUNS A FOUL OF THE CONSTITUTION, IT IS THIS. ITS NOT ONLY EMBARACING BUT A POLICY THAT THE COUNTRY WILL COME TO REGRATE WHEN IT IS TOO LATE. THEY HAVE LOST AT LEAST MY OWN SON AND THAT IS ALL I CAN SAY. THESE WOMEN PROTESTING TO PROTECT THEIR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS ARE NOT ACTIVISTS BY ANY DEFINITION AND SHOULD NEVER BE BRANDED SO. FOR THEIR ACTION TO HAVE ANY EFFECT, THEY SHOULD DIRECTLY DELIVER THEIR DEMANDS TO THE DONORS FROM THE WEST THAT THEY CAN NOT TURN A BLIND EYES TO THE WOMEN FROM THESE DONOR COUNTRIES WHO ARE INVESTING THEIR TAX DOLLORS, POUNDS AND EUROS TO SUPPORT AND REPRESS WOMEN ANY WHERE IN THE WORLD. RATHER THAN PROTESTING IN THE STREETS, THEY SHOULD DELIVER AN AUTOMATUM TO THE EMBASIES OF THE DONOR COUNTRIES TO SUPPORT ALL JORDANIANS, MEN AND WOMEN. JORDAN HAS DIVIDED MY FAMILY DESPITE OUR INVESTMENTS IN JORDAN AND I WILL NOT FORGET THIS AND WILL EXPRESS MY OPINION TO MY LEGISLATORS AND IN FACT DIRECTLY TO THE CONGRESS. HOWEVER, ONE THING IS CLEAR WHICH IS THAT I LOVE JORDAN AND ALL JORDANIANS AND WILL ALWAYS ACT AS A CATALYST TOWARDS TO WELL BEING OF THEM ALL DESPITE THIS STRANGE FORM OF DISCRIMINATION.

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