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Sierra Leone grants mothers right to pass on citizenship

A Sierra Leonian mother and child. FILE PHOTO Unicef Sierra Leone facebook

Freetown, Sierra Leone | AFP | Women from Sierra Leone can now pass on their nationality to their children, following the passage of what women’s rights groups said Friday was a landmark change in the law for gender equality.

Until the new Citizenship Amendment Act was passed on Wednesday, Sierra Leonean women were denied the right to hand down citizenship to their children born abroad, causing problems for the diaspora community and exacerbating statelessness.

“The new law shows that Sierra Leone is gradually getting to having gender parity like other countries around the world,” said Fatou Taqi of the women’s rights group 50/50.

“Several Sierra Leonean women living in the diaspora married and unmarried with children had been disadvantaged over the years,” she added. “We are very happy.”


Just 25 countries in the world still deny women the right to pass on their citizenship, according to the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights.

Taqi said much more remained to be done to further women’s rights in the poor west African nation, however.

Sierra Leone has the unwelcome distinction of the world’s highest maternal mortality rate, according to the World Health Organization, along with high rates of sexual violence and an extremely high prevalence of female genital mutilation.


  1. I found it disheartened when I hear an African person calling another African person POOR.The Ugandan Independent Newspaper should understand that every person in African maybe with some slight exclusion of South African is poor. Uganda is POOR country with so many social problems such as maternal infants mortality and prostitution and high HIV prevalence, so we must stop acting like we are better off than the others, What we must do is come together and fight the scourge of underdevelopment together and most importantly corruption. Stop insulting yourselves Africa using the words of the West. Sierra Leone is not a POOR West African nation as your report said, that is, if you go according to the massive found in their natural resources which is been cordoned of to the West through corruption. That’s all.

    • The Independent

      There are poor and rich countries in the world, and there are economic indicators to show which is which. When the indicators show a country is poor, it does not mean it cannot arise above that to be rich.

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