Sierra Leone's amended Citizenship Act guarantees women and men equal rights to confer nationality

Sierra Leone’s newly amended Citizenship Act now guarantees equal rights to women and men to confer nationality to their children. Prior to this amendment, female citizens were unable to pass their Sierra Leonean nationality to their children born abroad, while male citizens could. (Women in Sierra Leone have been able to confer nationality to their children born in the country since 2006.)

This change follows on the heels of reforms in Madagascar and the United States earlier this year that also eliminated gender discrimination in nationality laws.

How have debates been within the country on this law? How might this influence the ECOWAS countries or the African region on nationality, given the attention others in the region have placed on the issue of nationality? How does this change relate to other gender or child rights issues in the country?

Would love to hear any perspectives from @namati_citizenship @koudorkago @ismailasall @namati_sierraleone @stellaobita @lauracparker and other members!

Read more with this update from the Campaign on Equal Nationality Rights:

And this brief news article:


This is a great achievement towards obtaining equality in nationality rights for both women and men in Sierra Leone ,and consequently towards the reduction of statelessness in the country. To a greater extent, ECOWAS states have expressed great political will towards the eradication of statelessness in the region as portrayed by the adoption of a regional plan of Action to end statelessness in West Africa, sometime in May. The progress made in Sierra Leone, can serve as an inspiration to other countries to follow the same path. However, more efforts by CSOs, through advocacy in different forums must be done, if this legislation is to result in the actual realization of equal access to nationality for all in the country. It would be great; if implementation strategies revolve around the aforementioned plan of action; it would serve as a great opportunity to show ECOWAS member states, practical measures to be taken to eradicate statelessness.