Mesopotamia Status Of Women Essay

2919 Words12 Pages

Bryn Sato Chavalas HIS 110 21 February 2023 Module One In ancient Mesopotamia, the nature and status of women in law was dependent on regional differences as well as social class based on pages 158 and 159 of Women in the Ancient Near East book edited by Chavalas. Upper class women had more rights and privileges, such as the ability to own property, engage in business, and inherit from their families. One of the most significant rights upper-class women held was the ability to own property. They were able to acquire and manage their own property, including land and buildings, which provided them with a degree of independence. Upper-class women were also able to engage in business and trade, which allowed them to gain wealth and build economic …show more content…

For example on page 160 of the Chavalas book, women could not serve as witnesses in legal cases and their testimony was often overlooked. In cases of divorce on page 154, women were often at a disadvantage and could be easily divorced by their husbands without cause. In Mesopotamian law, marriage was seen as a contract between two families, and the primary purpose of marriage was to produce children and secure family alliances. Women were often married at a young age and had limited say in the choice of their partners. Once married, women were expected to fulfill their roles as wives and mothers and were often subject to the control of their husbands. One of the most significant ways in which women were at a disadvantage within marriage was that they could be easily divorced by their husbands without a specific cause. While men had to provide a reason for divorce, women could be divorced simply because their husbands wanted to. This meant that women had little control over their own marital status and were often abandoned by their husbands. Even though most women were treated poorly during these times, there were some instances of power in women, such as Queen Puabi of Ur and Kubaba of Kish who ruled in their own right during this era. These women often had similar duties as their husbands through religious, diplomatic and economic responsibilities according to page 102 and 103 of the reference guide. To add to it on page 87 of the reference guide titled Women’s Roles in Ancient Civilization, the concept of the harem in Islamic times refers to a separate space in a house where women, children and servants lived. The harem was generally associated with the households of wealthy and influential men, and was considered a symbol of status and power. The harem provided a measure of protection for the women who lived there, it also represented a form of confinement and

Show More
Open Document