British Nationality And Gender Discrimination

Hoda was born in Egypt the daughter of an Anglo-Egyptian family.  Two generations ago, Mohammed, an engineering student from Egypt, met Hilda, his English girlfriend in the London of the 1930’s.

That couple married and moved to Egypt before the outbreak of the Second World War.  Their son, Niall (Hoda’s father), was born in Cairo in 1944.  He grew up there and married.  
At Hoda’s birth in 1976 there was no possibility of her acquiring British citizenship.  British Common Law had always directed nationality to pass down through married couples in the male line alone.

But 1983 saw the law change to tackle gender discrimination.

Niall could now become British by descent from his mother.  But could that help Hoda ?

Up to that time it was possible for a child born abroad with a UK grandparent to claim nationality through the two generations, as long as the descent was in the male line.  However, the 1983 legislation only provided for nationality to pass in the female line through one generation.  The gender discrimination that stopped Hilda passing her nationality to Hoda, remained.

However, that may not be the end of the story.  The United Kingdom is a signatory to the Convention of the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.  Their committee is part of the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, the United Nations body that is based in Geneva, Switzerland.  If they decide that discrimination has taken place, they will invite the state involved to outline the steps it will take to remedy its legislation.  A formal and closely reasoned, complaint has been made.