On 22 June, after the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) introduced its revised Citizenship Bill to Parliament, there has been vigorous debate among journalists, activists, and politicians using social media platforms to put forth opposite points of view on the law.
Many are outraged that the bill discriminates against women, and brought to the surface systemic sexism prevalent in the country. Others, including some female politicians from the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), have used the nationalism argument against making it easier for foreign men marrying Nepali women.
The Citizenship Bill is now in Parliament, and could be debated in the House if it is included in the workplan. The revised bill now grants foreign females naturalised citizenship through their Nepali husbands, but only after they spend a minimum of seven years within the country. There is no mention of foreign men marrying Nepalis.
The draft revision was met with public outrage, not because of its seven-year-ruling, which is similar to India’s, but because it failed to grant Nepali females the right to similarly extend their citizenship to foreign husbands.
Nepali women on social media shared stories of transnational marriages that had forced them to lose own their nationality.
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