What is Citizenship?
Citizenship refers to the set of rights and duties to which the citizen or individual is subject in their relationship with the society in which they live. The term citizenship comes from the Latin civitas, which means ‘city’. Therefore, citizenship is the condition given to the citizen of being a member of an organized community.
Citizenship implies rights and duties that must be fulfilled by the citizen, knowing that those will be responsible for the coexistence of the individual in society.
This concept of citizenship is linked to law, especially in what refers to political rights, without which the individual cannot intervene in the affairs of the State, and that allow the direct or indirect participation of the individual in the government and in the subsequent administration through direct vote to elect or to compete for public office indirectly.
One of the requirements of citizenship for citizens to exercise their political rights is nationality . But there are also people who, despite being nationals of a State, do not have the political rights, because they may have been revoked or denied. For example, inmates do not have the right to vote, which may be mandatory for those over 18 years of age.
Traditionally and historically, women, like children or servants, did not have any kind of citizenship. It was not until the first quarter of the 20th century when women’s rights began to be recognized in the political sphere, such as women’s suffrage, and when women acquired full citizenship status in most countries.
Citizenship requires the individual, as an inhabitant of the city (as the root of the word says), to fulfill their duties, and as an individual of action, carry out their tasks for their good and also for the development of the community in which he lives, since the problems of the city should be a concern of all citizens.
Citizenship is exercised by individuals, groups and institutions that, through training , that is, through the power they have to carry out tasks without the authorization or permission of someone.
The citizens’ actions should cause changes leading to evolve and be strengthened by participating in communities, social policies and NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) actively through volunteering, where solidarity actions are done for the good of the population excluded from the conditions of citizenship.
These latter organizations complement the work of the State, carrying out actions in those areas that it cannot reach.