Jordanian bloggers are currently talking about women’s rights in Jordan. Sweet! I like that. The reason for the interest in this issue now is because Jordan recently endorsed a United Nations convention eliminating discrimination against women — albeit with some reservations.

I’m not sure if this endorsement will really mean anything since Jordan did express some concern over clauses that related to the Personal Status Law, citizenship, housing and the free movement of women. I’m assuming that although Jordan endorsed the convention, Jordanian women are still unable to pass citizenship on to their children and will continue to receive half the share of inheritance compared to men [in accordance with Sharia Law, which, in this case, is applied to both Muslim and non-Muslim alike]. I hope I am mistaken.

While reading some of the comments on Roba’s blog, I was surprised to realize that "the law requires a married woman to obtain her husband’s permission to obtain a passport (see Section 2.d.)." Is there anyone out there who would like to make my day and tell me that this antiquated law is no longer enforced? Is this really the case? With all due respect, I see this type of legislation as the epitome of discrimination. Would I need my American husband’s permission to renew my Jordanian passport? I wonder.

Update: Nas just made my day. I do not need permission to get a passport thanks to Provisional Passport Law (No. 5 of 2003). Phew… This is from the Freedom House report on Jordan:

Jordanian law provides citizens the right to travel freely within the country and abroad except in designated military areas. Unlike Jordan’s previous law (No. 2 of 1969), the current Provisional Passport Law (No. 5 of 2003) does not require women to seek permission from their male guardians or husbands in order to renew or obtain a passport. Nevertheless, in several recent cases mothers reportedly could not depart abroad with their children because authorities complied with requests from fathers to prevent their children from leaving the country. Social norms continue to play a major role in maintaining restrictive measures on women’s freedom of movement.