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Children of Jordanian women married to foreigners to be granted new higher education rights — official

By Rana Husseini - Aug 24,2017 - Last updated at Aug 24,2017

Government figures show that there are 88,983 Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians, mostly Gazans (Photo courtesy of My Mother is Jordanian and her nationality is a right for me Facebook page)

AMMAN — Children of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians are expected to receive new privileges related to higher education before mid-September, a senior government official said. 

“The Cabinet has issued new instructions that will give children of Jordanian women whose fathers are not Jordanians new privilege that will consider them as Jordanians when it comes to education in public universities,” the senior official source told The Jordan Times.

As it stands now, the official explained, “these youngsters are treated like foreigners and have to pay higher fees for the parallel admission at Jordanian governmental universities”.

“The government has referred the new regulation to the Higher Education Council, which in turn will decide how and who will benefit from the new privileges,” the senior official added.

Students who graduated this year from high school will benefit from the privileges “for sure”, the government official stressed.

Amman Third District MP Khalid Ramadan said that he had met with several government officials to press for this issue “since we received several complaints from families whose children scored very high grades in the Tawjihi exams and do not feel it is fair for them to pay high fees to enroll in parallel programmes at government universities”.

“We received assurances by high-level government officials that these students will be treated like any regular Jordanian student, and that is what happened, so we are happy that the government complied with our demands,” Ramadan told The Jordan Times.

Activists and families of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians have repeatedly demanded full citizenship rights for their children and spouses.

As it stands now, Jordanian men married to non-Jordanian women can pass on their citizenship to their wives and children, a right that is denied to Jordanian women married to foreigners.

In 2014, the government pledged to ensure the proper application of the “privileges” the government had granted to children of Jordanian women, provided that their mothers had been living in Jordan for a minimum period of five years, for at least 180 days per year.

Some of the “privileges” included providing residency permits, the ability to apply for driving licences and real-estate ownership, as well as the availing of benefits in the educational, health, labour and investment sectors.

But activists and campaign organisers had complained that the government did not fully respect its promises towards them and that they are still suffering on many fronts from discrimination and complicated governmental procedures when it comes to issuing driving licences, residency and work permits.

Individuals and entities who oppose granting citizenship to family members of these women, particularly those with Palestinian husbands, say such a measure will only lead Israel to implement its “ultimate plan of creating a substitute homeland for Palestinians in Jordan”. 

Government figures show that there are 88,983 Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians, mostly Gazans, with 355,932 children within these families registered with the Civil Status and Passports Department.

 

Palestinians, except Gazans, who became refugees after the creation of Israel on Palestinian land, and those who were living in the West Bank when it was occupied by Israel in 1967, have been given Jordanian citizenship.

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