Nepal’s interim constitution provides that any person whose father or mother was a Nepali citizen can acquire citizenship by decent but that right has existed only on paper.
Now, the draft of new constitution requires both father and mother to be Nepali citizens for passing on citizenship by descent.
Over four million people in Nepal are stateless, as women aren’t allowed to pass their citizenship onto their children.
Inequality against women is more prominent in naturalized citizenship provision, which requires a foreign man married to a Nepali woman to wait for 15 years to acquire citizenship of Nepal, whereas a foreign woman married to a Nepali man gets it immediately after marriage, upon relinquishing foreign citizenship. Naturalized citizens are restricted appointments in key state positions and bodies.
The citizenship provisions will also be particularly discriminatory against Madhesi people, given their history of marrying across the borders with India and restrict them opportunities for many state positions.
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