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Citizenship through mothers

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
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In what is being hailed as a great leap forward, Nepal’s major political parties have agreed to replace the ‘and’ conjunction with ‘or’ in a clause about citizenship certificates in the new constitution. It might look simple but has huge implications for Nepali women struggling for years to ensure that their children can get citizenship certificates through their mothers’ names.

The Citizenship Act–2006 and the Interim Constitution–2007 stipulate that the child of a Nepali mother or a father can acquire Nepali citizenship certificate by descent. But women rights activists were up in arms after the first Constituent Assembly (CA) drafted that both parents must be Nepali citizens for their children to get citizenship certificates. After years of intense protests, political leaders have agreed to include the ‘Or’ conjunction, which will allow the children of a Nepali mother to get citizenship certificates. They need not have Nepali fathers.

Read also:

Being Nepali or becoming Nepali? Anjana Rajbhandary

In a stateless state Mina Sharma

Nepal’s gender apartheid Deepti Gurung 

Macho nationalism Mallika Aryal

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8 Responses to “Citizenship through mothers”

  1. Great leap on Says:

    Great Leap Forward and good sign for Nepali women’s equality.

  2. Shree Shrestha on Says:

    Replacing ‘and’ for ‘or’ in the Citizenship Act is a great news.

  3. david seddon on Says:

    But this will not of itself resolve the problem of naturalisation where it looks as though there may be even tighter restrictions such that a foreign citizen married to a Nepali citizen will have to wait 7 years for naturalisation as a Nepali

  4. namah on Says:

    wonderful on the first step towards inclusion.

  5. namah on Says:

    on afterthought, it seems both parents NEED to be nepali. Just that one can use mother’s name on the paperwork.

    NO CHANGE TO THE LAW! Seriously, what are these people doing? Playing with our heads?

  6. One step on Says:

    If that is the case, it’s one step forward and 2 steps back. Lots of Nepalese go abroad and settle down. Isn’t it great if people want to live in Nepal because their mothers are Nepali and they bring knowledge and wealth into Nepal. In met cases they have Caucasian dads and property abroad that they sell in the West and bring hard currency into Nepal.

  7. namah on Says:

    it certainly has been a roller coaster ride for me in Nepal. My mom is Nepali, my dad is not. I have returned because I believe I am Nepali at the very core, having been born here and been part of a prominent family. I have tried my best to cross the last hurdle of becoming Nepali – that is the citizenship. Alas I feel like my world is crashing on me. Perhaps time to move on…

  8. ANepali on Says:

    Many well-developed countries allow dual citizenships (including the USA). Also, in countries like the USA, if you are born inside the country, you automatically qualify for citizenship (even if both your parents are not US citizens). Such countries benefit from the contributions of such by-birth and naturalized citizens. Nepal is foolish to not allow dual citizenship, or to not allow citizenship to Nepalis whose mothers are Nepali citizens but not the dads. Extremely short sighted and stupid policy, which needs to be modernized immediately. The mentality of politicians and leaders in Nepal is completely outdated and retrogressive. I believe it is time to invite successful NRNs to temporarily return and govern the country and steer its development in the right direction until intelligent, accountable Nepali leaders will be ready to replace them. There are many qualified NRNs highly successful in the West in a variety of areas including business, academics, science and technology, medicine, etc. It is now high time to get rid of the old, corrupt politicians playing musical chair in governing the country, while looting its coffers. The post-earthquake reconstruction time, when the Nepali psyche seems to have been reawakened, may be the right time.

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