As the world’s states consider how to reduce the plague of statelessness, nationality laws come increasingly under the microscope. That’s because if a child can only take on the nationality of their father, and the father is unknown or dies or disappears before a child is officially registered as his, then the child could well be doomed to a life without nationality or citizenship. Thus, ensuring that there is equality between women and men when it comes to conferring nationality on children, would help greatly in reducing statelessness around the world.
Nationality laws often seem random in the way that nationality, and thus citizenship, is conferred on children.
Take the case of the Bahamas, one of two states in the Caribbean that don’t allow women to confer nationality on their children on the same terms as fathers.