After several years of activism, this week the Guardian Council of Iran has approved of an amendment to the law and now their women will also enjoy the right of passing on citizenship. Women in Iran can now grant citizenship to their children without any obstacles. Previously children that were born in Iran to Iranian mothers by foreign fathers had to wait till the age of nineteen before applying for citizenship.
The Human Rights Watch said that this approval from the council was the last necessary step required for making the reform a reality. The law had been approved by the parliament of Iran a year ago and was now waiting for the approval of the constitutional panel.
Children born to Iranian fathers are given citizenship automatically regardless of the citizenship of their mothers. However, for the Children of Iranian mothers and foreign fathers, the application for citizenship was not even an option until recently.
The HRW said that this amendment to the law still did not equalize access to citizenship entirely as the Iranian women would still have to apply for nationality whereas, for men, it is an automatic process.
This rather common law in the Middle East is inherited from the constitutional principles of the 19th century France and Belgium that influenced the legal systems of the region.
HRW conducted research that shows that laws like these, regardless of countries that they are applied to have the potential of affecting children’s access to housing, health care, education, and opportunities for employment.
Congratulations to all the women rights activist of Iran that have been struggling for decades for this right and have finally succeeded in their mission.