Arab Women's Right to Nationality Campaign

Key words

Gender equality…non-discrimination… reform… CEDAW... inclusive citizenship…


The "Women’s Right to Nationality Campaign" is rooted in CRTD.A’s Gender Linking and Information Programme (GLIP), a regional initiative launched in 1999 and aiming at building capacities in gender analysis through transformatory training, research, communication and advocacy.
The campaign was initiated during a regional meeting of CRTD.A partners hosted in Rabat by the Association Demcratique des Femmes du Maroc when partners from MENA countries agreed that Nationality Laws in the Arab countries are the most blatantly discriminatory against women and clearly positioned women as second-class citizens.
Since then, the campaign has evolved to include Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco and Jordan in addition to informal ramifications in other gulf countries.  As of 2004, a large number of Arab countries undertook to reform their nationality laws starting with Egypt and followed by Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Palestine, Yemen, and Tunisia and later UAE.
The campaign is supported globally by the Women Learning Partnership’s “Claiming Equal Citizenship Campaign” and has now joined, on the regional level, the Equality without Reservation Coalition which calls for lifting the reservation on CEDAW, initiating immediate and complete implementation of its clauses and ratifying the CEDAW-Optional Protocol.


The ultimate aim of the campaign is to contribute to Arab women’s inclusive citizenship through the reform of the nationality laws and the full implementation of CEDAW.  The interim objectives of the programme include the following:

  • Raising public awareness and mobilizing women and men to demand the refrm of the nationality laws in Lebanon;
  • Contribute knowledge regarding the impact of the violation of women’s right to nationality on the exercise of all their other rights as citizens
  • Contribute to lifting the reservation and implementation of CEDAW


Strategies and activities

As in the case of other CRTD.A programmes and initiatives, the Arab Women’s Right to Nationality has developed a number of inter-related strategies, namely:

  • Public mobilization, campaigning and advocacy
  • Political lobbying
  • Media and communication
  • Direct support to women affected by the current nationality law
  • Training and capacity building
  • Research and knowledge

In public mobilization, campaigning and advocacy, CRTD.A organizes a number of public events such as sit-ins, demonstrations, marches and public hearings involving women and their families, celebrities as well as sister NGOs, CSOs and the media.   CRTD.A has organized at least two public events on a yearly basis and which continue to attract extensive media attention.
In political lobbying, CRTD.A continues to follow up the positions and statements of decision makers and politicians regarding the nationality law and related citizenship issues.  Meetings are organized with politicians from all affiliations in order to communicate the demands of the campaign and gauge the positions of politicians vis-à-vis the requested reforms.
In media and communication, CRTD.A issues press releases on a regular basis concerning all matters related to citizenship and nationality law in Lebanon and the region.  An internal CRTD.A media team maintains close relations with media staff and provides a stream of data and information as well as press communiqués, releases and statements related to Lebanon as well as other Arab countries.
In direct support to women affected by the nationality law, CRTD.A has initiated in 2011 a legal hotline that offers legal counsel and follow-up to women and their families and acts as a liaison between women and the local authorities.  In addition, a legal office is available to offer individual counsel and support to selected cases of women.
In training and capacity building, CRTD.A organizes and delivers training in leadership, CEDAW, citizenship and other issues of interest to women concerned by the nationality law as well as lawyers and the media with the aim of engaging these stakeholders in the campaign’s public advocacy action.
Finally, in research and knowledge dissemination, CRTD.A continue to make available the initial body of research and studies carried out by the campaign in addituion to the campaign periodic newsletter and progress report.

How can you help?


  • You can subscribe to the Nationality campaign newsletter
  • Update and sign up to the campaigns Twitter and Facebook page.
  • Most importantly, you can help by taking part in the campaign’s public event and bring up the issue with all your family members and friends.
  • Check out the Campaign’s research and other publications and disseminate them.
  • Sign up to our workshop and become a facilitator and mobilise your friends and colleagues to join our cause.
  • Sign the Equality without Reservation petition and send it out to your friends and colleagues.


Donors and supporters

The Arab Women’s Right to Nationality Campaign was initiated with a research grant from IDRC. Previous donors include the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Canadian Regional Human Rights Fund and current donors include the Dutch Embassy in Lebanon.

The campaign is in partnership with the Women Learning Partnership.



Project team

Meet the Nationality Campaign Team 

Karima Chebbo

Nationality Campaign Coordinator

Lina Abou-Habib

CRTD.A President of the Board


Contact us on…

GET Offices
Museum Plaza, behind Volvo Company
Karim Salameh building, third floor
Postal Code 2066 0201
Telefax: + 961-1-423659

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Twitter: @Jinsiyati