The Status Of Women In The Code Of Hammurabi

1696 Words7 Pages
In Ancient Mesopotamia, one of the earliest civilizations in history, the status of women was much lower than that of men. They did not have as many rights and privileges as men did. They were expected to be submissive to their male guardian, whether it be a father or husband, and carry out their specific duties. According to the textbook, “A woman’s place was in the home, and failure to fulfill her expected duties was grounds for divorce…” (Duiker and Spielvogel 14). During this time, Hammurabi, who came into power and ruled most of Mesopotamia in 1792 B.C.E., developed a code of law known as the “The Code of Hammurabi” that described Hammurabi’s strict system of justice. Under the code, men had the ultimate authority over their families and society in general. The punishments for women who neglected their household duties and the law were severe compared to those for men who broke the law. “The Code of Hammurabi” states, “If she is not innocent, but leaves her husband, and ruins her house, neglecting her husband, this woman shall be cast into the water” (143). This law is one of the several laws of the code regarding family, especially the relationship between a man and his wife. In the law, it says, “If a man’s wife be surprised…with another man, both shall be tied and thrown into water…” (129). Women were expected to stay faithful to their husbands since they were under their authority. This is also because the family unit was a key element to the development and growth
Get Access