Ahmad Humeid drew my attention to the "Know your rights, protect yourself" campaign currently underway in Jordan. A number of Jordanian dailies published parts of the Jordanian constitution today to acquaint Jordanians with their rights. It is all nice and dandy, except for the problem I have with Article No. 6, which says:

Article 6 – (i) Jordanians shall be equal before the law. There shall be no discrimination between them as regards to their rights and duties on grounds of race, language or religion

I find it quite interesting that gender is not addressed in this Article. I guess it is simply because Jordanians are, in fact, not equal before the law when it comes to gender. As a woman, I can never pass Jordanian citizenship on to my children, hence my future offspring, who will have a non-Jordanian father, will always come to Jordan as tourists. They will need a visa every time they visit the kingdon. But children of a Jordanian male married to a non-Jordanian automatically become citizens. Are all Jordanians equal before the law? I think not!

Another point: the inheritance issue. As a woman, I will always get half the share of inheritance that my male siblings receive. One again, Jordanians are not equal before the law. Since I do not see any changes brewing in either of these two issues, I would suggest amending Article No. 6 as follows: "Jordanians shall be equal before the law except in matters of gender."

With regards to religion, I’m not really sure about that either. Although non-Muslim minorities enjoy very good status in the kingdom, I don’t think I’ll live to see the day when there will be a Christian Jordanian prime minister. Frankly, I do not know how I will explain to my children that they can never be Jordanians let alone become prime minister. Oh, well!

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