Like women in countries across the Arab world, Saudi mothers have yet to be granted the right to pass on citizenship to their children. 

Legislation banning women from passing their nationality to children born to non-Saudi fathers has made life complex and unbearable for thousands of families. 

Over the weekend, women affected by the sexist law took to Twitter, demanding they be given the right to pass on citizenship. 

Hundreds tweeted under the trending hashtag "A Saudi woman and my nationality is for my children," making their voices heard. 

Women got the support of many online but it wasn't all positive news. As is the case very often, misogynists were awakened. 

Instead of focusing on the crucial point that it's unacceptable and unjust to deny a human being their rights based on gender, some chose to highlight why it's "wrong to marry a foreigner in the first place." 

It didn't end there, many had the nerve to tell Saudi women to take their children and move to their husbands' countries. 

Such a battle is an unfamiliar one for Saudi men as they have the default right to pass on their nationality to both their spouses and children.

The polarization in the tweets under the hashtag shows how the discrimination against women is still (unfortunately) alive and well. However, the hashtag in and of itself revealed how many are fighting for change. 

Some criticized women demanding this right

"You're a Saudi woman and you've got all your rights in the state but the government isn't responsible for your mistake in marrying someone who holds a different nationality. Then you come and ask for your children to be naturalized when they have to follow their father and the country where he comes from." 

Others went further

"No one told you to marry a foreigner. Marrying outside of your country isn't a joke. You didn't even look at its pros and cons. Stupidity." 

There were many who supported these women though

"I agree with this. A Saudi woman has the right to pass on citizenship to her children just as a Saudi man does." 

"End discrimination against women"

"I am a Saudi woman, born and raised in the kingdom and I call for authorities to grant Saudi women their right to pass on citizenship just as my brother citizens."

The struggle of children born to Saudi mothers and non-Saudi fathers

Image used for illustrative purposes only. Source: Unsplash

Children born to non-Saudi fathers can live in the kingdom with their mothers but have to apply for residency just as any expat would.

Given that the country implements the kafala system, these individuals cannot obtain residency permits unless they are sponsored by a Saudi national, who is their mother in most cases. If and when a mother passes away, her children end up having to look for someone else to sponsor them in their own country. 

The entire system renders women who marry foreigners helpless and denies their children the most basic of rights; they struggle to enroll in public schools and are not provided the same governmental benefits as Saudi nationals. 

Saudi women married to foreigners have a myriad of obstacles to face; the country's Shoura Council has called on the urgent passing of a bill granting women the right to give their children permanent residency in the country.