Wikileaks: Jordan, gender, and the Palestinian issue

Posted: January 10, 2011 by prrnassistant in Jordan

Among the various Wikileaks cables released so far, one from the US Embassy in Amman (dated 5 March 2008) deals with Jordanian citizenship law and the particular sensitivities involved because of the Palestinian issue:

The issue of who can and cannot transmit citizenship is an ongoing concern of many women in Jordan, and was revived in the public consciousness during recent parliamentary elections. Jordanian women married to non-Jordanian men do not transmit citizenship to their children. This creates a precarious situation, primarily for the children of Palestinian fathers, but also for the children of foreign laborers resident in Jordan. Women’s rights activists have worked on this situation for years, to no avail. Even public statements by, and strong support for legislative action from, the Queen have fallen on deaf ears. Meanwhile, the number of families with a tenuous legal situation in Jordan is growing as the Palestinian-origin population intermingles with East Bankers. Lawmakers dismiss changes to the law as politically impossible, even as civil society professes its willingness to compromise. In the end, it is Jordanian identity politics, not gender concerns, that are at the heart of this debate.

You’ll find the full cable here.

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