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Gender discrimination in nationality laws has been mostly eradicated in the Western Hemisphere. The Bahamas and Barbados are the only remaining countries in the hemisphere that deny women equal rights to confer nationality on their children.
Currently married women citizens of The Bahamas and Barbados do not have the right to confer nationality on children born abroad. Bahamian and Barbadian women also do not have the right to confer their nationality to foreign spouses, a right that is reserved for men. In addition, both countries deny fathers the right to confer nationality on children born out of wedlock.
In the Bahamas, a June 2016 public referendum, which would have enshrined gender equal nationality rights in the Bahamian Constitution, failed to win a majority of votes.
Suriname is the most recent country in the hemisphere to reform its law to achieve gender equal nationality rights. In July 2014, the Suriname National Assembly amended its 1975 Law on Nationality and Residence. The new law allows mothers to pass on nationality to their children and gives women the same right as men to confer nationality to spouses. Additionally, the reform introduced important safeguards to prevent statelessness due to loss of nationality.