Nepal as a multicultural society is considered as one of the most ethnically dense, religiously spiritual and identically prominent. In addition there are various factors which may influence individuals identity, some may include; ethnicity, religion, gender and most importantly citizenship. Similarly the word nationality is used as a substitute for citizenship. An individual is recognised as being a part of a particular national if s/he has acquired a citizenship. But however acquiring citizenship may not be as easy as it is perceived. The current citizenship law of Nepal is considered to be discriminatory, on the basis of gender, hence witnessed as being patriarchal. Nepalese women and children have been exercising a lot of difficulties and barriers as the law prevents women from passing their nationality on to their kin children independently.
Obtaining a citizenship is of utmost importance for an individual to take a productive role in the society. Willy-nilly citizenship is required everywhere, each and every work an individual perfects to pursue. For instance to enroll in a particular institution, applying for a job, purchasing a property, acquiring a driving license and so forth. One might contemplate or even argue, what impact will the stateless people have on their life in this early earning life? The answer is apparent; either they will be deprived socially or economically or even both. Statistically, 23.65% of the total population are stateless and it is further projected to be increased to 40% until 2050. It has been argued that the majority of people who are stateless end up committing deviant acts in the society, many children fall in delinquency and so forth. Similarly the majority of those who are put into allegations for criminal acts have no citizenship. Moreover police officers have a baffling problem in identifying criminals authentic name. Furthermore restricting an individual to get his/her citizenship rights is perceived as the taproot cause of criminalities witnessed in the society.
Children of single parent (Mother) have come across a lot of difficulties in acquiring citizenship, as the law itself restricts them from obtaining citizenship rights. Furthermore local authorities refuse to issue citizenship certificates to children of widows, victims of rape, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and in cases where father is unidentified. A case of murder was also published in Kantipur Daily (Published date: 10th September 2013) â€œNijagadh [Bara district] 10th September â€“ Police investigation had revealed that Mofidun Nesa, 22 of Prostoka was murdered last Wednesday night. When she pressurized her husband and mother-in-law to make her citizenship [certificate], she was murdered tied with a rope, said the police According to the police there were simple bruises in her body and her bangles were broken down in the defense of the murderâ€.
Many organisations for instance, Forum For Women, Law And Development (FWLD). The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and so forth have further argued that Nepalese women should be given full rights to convey citizenship by descent to their children independently. Presenting oneâ€™s motherâ€™s citizenship certificate should be sufficient to obtain a citizenship certificate of a child. Similarly CERD initiates that the right to nationality (citizenship) should be free from discrimination on the basis of race, colour or national origin. It further called on all state parties to reduce statelessness among children, specifically by ensuring that they are permitted to access citizenship from either their mother or father.
In order to eradicate this baffling issue a Campaign so called â€œRising 1000sâ€ has been initiated by Subin Mulmi the Program Coordinator at FWLD a campaign where thousands of people march on to recommend â€œAama ko naam ma Nagriktaâ€ Nepalese women should be given full rights to transfer citizenship to her children independently.