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Morocco Women Could Soon Pass on Nationality to Their Foreign Husbands

A bill to amend an article of the Nationality Code was tabled at the end of May 2018 in the House of Representatives. Its adoption will allow a foreign national married to a Moroccan woman to obtain nationality.

In Morocco, as in most Arab countries, the Nationality Code is unfair to women. The Moroccan married to a foreigner still can not transmit her nationality. This right is reserved only for Moroccan men.

What does the current law say? 
According to Article 10 of the Nationality Code, ” only the foreign woman who has married a Moroccan may, after a habitual and regular residence in Morocco of the household for 5 years, subscribe a declaration addressed to the Minister of Justice with a view to to acquire Moroccan nationality “.  This discrimination is the consequence of a dominant patriarchal system.

Who wants the reform? 
The latest announcement was made by a member of the Justice and Development Party (PJD, Islamist). On her Facebook page, Boutaïna Karrouri announced that she had sent on behalf of the majority a bill to amend article 10 of the Nationality Code. The text was found to be ” discriminatory against women “. A similar proposal had already been tabled in Parliament at the end of November 2017 without giving anything concrete.

It should also be noted that the naturalization of foreign spouses is one of the demands of Moroccan feminist associations that fight for equality between men and women. They had won their case in 2007 with an “unfinished” law allowing the Moroccan mother to transmit her nationality to her child in the case of a mixed marriage.

And elsewhere in the Maghreb? 
The unequal transmission of nationality has evolved in recent years in some countries of the region thanks in particular to the action of associations. 
Tunisia and Algeria grant the same rights to men and women married to foreigners.

In contrast, Mauritania and Libya have not changed the rules for decades and women’s rights remain flouted. ” Traditionally in the Mediterranean patriarchal societies, man perpetuates the lineage and the national bond passes through him,   explains Delphine Perrin.

In France, it was only in 1973 that the transmission of nationality was recognized to the mother, as noted by the lawyer and researcher in a comprehensive study on nationality codes in the Maghreb.

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