Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day (IWD)

The 2010 theme: Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all

I think it's apropos to connect this day to my quest for equal rights to British citizenship. This article, Misogyny is Alive and Well Among British Lawmakers - explains exactly how unfair the Borders Immigration & Citizenship Act 2009 is.

Children born abroad to (married) British fathers get automatic citizenship. The law was amended to correct the inequality regarding citizenship for children born abroad to British mothers but it still discriminates. The "children" (now adults) of British mothers have to register and pay £540 and attend a ceremony to attain British citizenship. Citizenship is not automatic.

What about equal rights for British mothers to be able to pass on their citizenship the same as British fathers have always been able to?

Please add your name to the petition:


  1. Fantastic Maureen! Great post and you're right, the day is a perfect time to link with your cause.

  2. Thanks Michelle - I appreciate your support!

  3. Has this changed? I have three kids born in the USA and they all have British passports and (I understand from the Embassy) the right to live and work in the UK whenever they want. I don't remember any difficulty in obtaining passports for them and I renewed two last year.

  4. Expat mum,

    The law was amended to correct the inequality regarding children born abroad to British mothers but it still discriminates. In 2002, they changed that law, but they only backdated it to 1961.

    The (unfair) law regarding children born abroad to British mothers before 1961 was amended (again!) via the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Act but it continues to discriminate!

    I was born abroad to a British mother but I will have to register and pay a fee of £540 and attend a citizenship ceremony, all to claim my British citizenship by descent.

    However, if my father was British (or if I was born in the same circumstances after 1983) I can simply complete a passport application without the need to register, without the required fee and without the ceremony.

  5. The British Government feels that laws regarding the transmission of citizenship are primarily designed to benefit minors, not adults.

    Britain's cavalier attitude towards dual nationality is beginning to show. Dubai recently announced that it would not permit entry to anyone traveling on a British citizen passport if they are suspected of also being an Israeli national.

    Entitlements to registration as a British citizen come and go. There is no guarantee that this entitlement will not be withdrawn at some future date.

    This recent change to section 4C of the British Nationality Act 1981 underwent intense scrutiny in the House of Lords but was barely discussed in the House of Commons.

  6. According Michael Turberville's website ( there have been over 16,000 registrations under section 4c of the British Nationality Act 1981 since 30 April 2003.

    The largest group of applicants, understandably, are from the "Old Commonwealth" (Australia, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand) and the United States of America.