SAC members, rights activists discuss citizenship amendment bill

Published On: October 6, 2018 07:55 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 6: Women rights activists have demanded a revision to the Citizenship Act (Amendment) Bill stating that the proposed provision in the bill has made it further tough for single women to help their children acquire citizenship certificate. 

Furnishing their feedback on the bill at the State Affairs Committee (SAC) of parliament on Friday, rights activists and campaigners demanded revision of the amendment bill for the convenience of those without fathers or those whose fathers have gone out-of-contact. 

Most of them expressed objection to a provision that makes it mandatory for women to declare about not having husband or the person applying for the citizenship substantiate the fact of not having his/her father. “The provision has made it mandatory to establish the fact of not having father while processing citizenship through mother. This provision will trouble those born after sexual violence,” Advocate Mira Dhungana suggested. “The citizenship law should provision equal rights for both women and men for providing citizenship to their child.” 

Right activist Deepti Gurung sharing her struggle for processing citizenship certificates for two daughters who were abandoned by their fathers, and other persons with similar problems, reiterated revising the amendment bill with the provisions that wouldn’t leave anyone stateless. “If the birth registration of a child is done under the father’s name and the same child applied for citizenship certificate after the mother is separated from the father, the child may not get citizenship certificate in line with this proposed provision,” she said. 

Gurung also demanded including equal standing for acquiring citizenship for men and women married to Nepali citizens. 

Campaigner Pundevi Maharjan demanded equality for women in the citizenship bill. “It is complicated to help children get their citizenship certificates if their fathers are not with them. A husband can easily get a citizenship certificate for his wife after marriage but a wife cannot get citizenship of her husband. This should be revised,” she said.

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