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Myths about Women's RightsHow, Where, and Why Rights Advance$
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Feryal M. Cherif

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190211172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190211172.001.0001

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The Evolution of Women’s Nationality Rights

The Evolution of Women’s Nationality Rights

(p.59) 4 The Evolution of Women’s Nationality Rights
Myths about Women's Rights

Feryal M. Cherif

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the conventional wisdom that unequal nationality rights are a problem limited to non-Western countries, and that women’s rights advocacy facilitates reform by challenging states discriminatory practices. Nationality rights are often referred to as “the right to have rights,” as citizenship is generally a precondition of political rights and access to state services (e.g., education and health care). Examining a woman’s right to an independent nationality and to confer citizenship to her children across countries, the data show that cultural and international norms-building explanations are either incomplete, or poorly explain the status of women’s nationality rights. Instead, across the nationality rights examined, advances in core rights are correlated with greater equality for women.

Keywords:   nationality rights, religion, non-Western, women’s rights advocacy, core rights

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