Keeping Women in Their Place

August 5th, 2013

 

Keeping Women “In Their Place”

            Women everywhere face restrictions on their public presence, appearance, and their private and public behavior. Mobility and dress restrictions, which are enforced in a number of countries, are rooted in standard patriarchal assumptions about men’s right to control women, in combination with fundamentalist religious interpretations.

Here are some of the surprisingly common restrictions that are placed on women in countries all around the world:

* In Egypt, only males may confer citizenship and children born to women with foreign husbands are not conferred the benefits of citizenship.

* In Syria, a husband may file a request to prohibit his wife’s departure from the country.

* In Qatar, women need male permission to obtain a driver’s license.

* In Kyrgyzstan, family law prohibits divorce during pregnancy and while the child is younger that one-year-old.

* In Yemen, by law a wife must obey her husband; she must live with him at the place stipulated by him, consummate the marriage, and not leave home without his consent.

* In Uganda, in some ethnic groups, men inherit their brothers’s widowed wives; and some men of the Karamojong ethnic group in the northeastern section of the country continue their cultural practice of claiming unmarried women as wives by raping them.

* In, Swaziland, married women are legal minors.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, women need their husbands permission for most routine legal transactions, including accepting a job, and opening a bank account.

* In Venezuela, a provision in the penal code provides that an adult man guilty of raping an adult woman can avoid punishment, if before sentencing, he marries her.

* In America, state legislatures enacted anti-abortion measures between 1995 and 2001; and now 87% of all U.S. Countries are not served by an abortion clinic.

            As we can see from the statistics Women’s rights are threatened by pressure from religious fundamentalism in many countries, like Nigeria, where increasing fundamentalist pressure from Shari’a courts imposes severe sentences(including flogging and death by stoning) on women for sexual impropriety. However ultimately, we see the way that women are doomed to live in hopeless situations due to patriarchal rule.

~Sasha Sanders, Alum, 2013

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