Women and children gather in Riad al-Solh square in Downtown Beirut to protest a law that forbids Lebanese women from passing their citizenship onto their children, Friday, March 16, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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President Michel Aoun's controversial naturalization decree, which is set to grant Lebanese citizenship to over 400 foreign nationals, has reignited outrage over Lebanese women's inability to pass citizenship onto their children and foreign spouses.Some reports allege that naturalization is being granted to those paying large sums of money or with ties to the Syrian government, furthering impressions that Lebanese citizenship is being offered on the basis of monetary and political incentives even as the country's female citizens still do not possess full citizenship rights.Stauffer, a Lebanese citizen, is married to a man with a Lebanese mother and Swiss father. Every three years, Stauffer must go to General Security to renew her son's residency – a process she described as demeaning.Sarah Awad, 35, is the daughter of a Lebanese mother and foreign father who recalled the difficulty of this process while growing up in the country.Today, Awad is married to a Lebanese man and said she is currently in the process of obtaining her long-sought citizenship.Translating to "my nationality," Jinsiyati has been fighting for the right of women to pass citizenship on to their children and spouses in Lebanon, among other Arab countries.
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