Jordanian Women’s Union hail decision to amend Passport Law

Jordanian authorities are planning to abolish the regulation that prevents married women from getting their passports without their husband’s endorsement, a move welcomed by Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU), national focal point of Social Watch.

Civil Status and Passports Department (CSPD) director general Marwan Qteishat said the department is reviewing the 1969 Passport Law, which stipulates that a husband’s consent is needed in order for his wife to obtain a Jordanian passport, reported The Jordan Times.

“We are doing this to cope with the latest developments and because times have changed since the 1960s and women should be treated equally with men,” said Qteishat, according to journalist Rana Husseini.

Qteishat added that a 2003 temporary law amended this stipulation but never went through the proper constitutional channels because it was never passed by Parliament.

“We are currently reviewing the entire law and will refer it to the legislative bureau at the Prime Ministry to be examined and referred to Parliament for a vote,” the official added.

“This is an important step and a right for Jordanian women that is guaranteed by the Constitution,” Jordanian Women’s Union President Amneh Zu’bi said.

“It is good that it will be amended and go through the proper constitutional channels, and I am very optimistic that the Lower House and Upper House will endorse it once it is referred to them for discussion," added Zu’bi.

Another activist, Emily Nafaa, also welcomed the CSPD’s decision, calling it “an important move that further strengthens women’s rights in Jordan”.

“Any law that discriminates against women is not civilised or humane because women should be granted full rights and this is one further step that will strengthen the gains that the women’s movement has been achieving in Jordan,” she added.

The government has already scrapped a regulation which said a married woman should be accompanied by her husband or a male member of the family while leaving the country.

The Jordan Times:
The Gulf Times: