CEDAW and Nationality Laws Guide

  • Published:
  • Modified: Wednesday, 05 July 2017

This reference guide highlights key international human rights provisions found in CEDAW that are relevant to women’s nationality rights and individuals affected by gender discrimination in nationality laws, including stateless persons. It is addressed to all stakeholders who may wish to use this international human rights instrument to advance gender equal nationality rights and improve the enjoyment of human rights by affected persons. 

Nationality laws determine the ability to acquire, change, and retain one’s nationality and to confer nationality on children and spouses. 26 countries deny women the ability to confer nationality on children on an equal basis with men. Over 50 countries maintain other gender discriminatory provisions in their nationality laws. CEDAW primarily addresses nationality rights through two provisions, including through its provisions on non-discrimination (Article 2) and equal nationality rights between men and women (Article 9). In many contexts, gender discrimination in nationality laws results in or is linked with violations of social, political and economic rights.

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