Women's Rights In The Hammurabi Code

analytical Essay
1529 words
1529 words

The Hammurabi Code: Women’s Rights is a paper I wrote for my Foundations of Western Civilization class taught by Dr. Munson. His goal was for all of his students to write a paper about a topic that interests us during a certain time era. The Code of Hammurabi played a significant role in how women were treated, as well as their rights during Old Babylonian civilization. The Code of Hammurabi was created in 1780 B.C.E. and represents as the oldest written document in the development of human legislation. The “eye for an eye” principle comes from this code and states that if someone injures another person, then the person penalized to the same degree with the same action. Hammurabi’s code reflected three different classes which were; the …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the hammurabi code: women's rights paper they wrote for their foundations of western civilization class taught by dr. munson.
  • Analyzes how the code of hammurabi played a significant role in how women were treated, as well as their rights during old babylonian civilization.
  • Explains that a woman's family wealth was controlled by her father or her husband during the babylonian civilization.
  • Explains that the code of hammurabi took women's sexuality very seriously and made sure it was proven safe.
  • Explains that women of the babylonian civilization could not choose who they wanted to marry, their parents decided for them. men could divorce their wives without giving a reason, but the courts would have to be involved in their problems.
  • Explains that the code of hammurabi acknowledged and supported the difference between women and men in the babylonian society.

Women did not control her own wealth, so therefore, a woman’s family wealth, was controlled by her father or her husband. Law 128 in the Code of Hammurabi states, “If a man take a wife and do not arrange with her the (proper) contracts, that woman is not a (legal) wife.”1 (Hammurabi 45). A woman would receive a dowry once she was married and left her family. A dowry is a financial gift such as money, property, or goods, which was a gift to her husband once they got married. Once a man married a woman, he then had access to the family’s dowry and the property, money, or goods were then, controlled by him. If the man were no longer married to the woman and if the woman died childless, then the dowry returned back to the father of her family. If the father has already passed away, then the dowry was returned to the woman’s brothers. If the woman had any children that were boys, then the boy, or brothers, would share equally2 (“WOMEN…”). If women wanted out of the marriage, then she would take the dowry with her and go back to her father’s house. The father would then receive the dowry back. Law 138 in the Code of Hammurabi says, “If a man would put away his wife who has not borne him children, he shall give her money to the amount of her marriage settlement and he shall make good to her the dowry which she brought from her father’s house and then he may put her away.”3 (Hammurabi 49). In reality …show more content…

No doubt the concept “an eye for an eye” was a big part of the Code of Hammurabi. Although, when it came to women, this principle does not apply equally as it did with men of the Babylonian civilization. For example, if a man were to practice adultery while he was married, he would get a very minor punishment for whatever good reason he came up with. If a woman were to practice adultery on her husband, she and the other man she was having an affair with were both thrown into a river while being tied up to one another. Basically women were constantly addressed as a piece of property just as slaves were treated. Hammurabi’s Code demonstrated how the rights of women individually were not acknowledged as men’s rights were taken. King Hammurabi was the sixth Babylonian king and he gave all of the power to the men in the civilization. It can be proven that a woman, in Hammurabi time didn’t have as many rights, even right to defend herself. There are three major issues that were taken place during the Babylonian civilization. The first issue, was about a woman’s family wealth being controlled by her husband or her father. The second issue was about women’s sexuality being sacrificed to ensure legitimacy. The last issue talked about a woman needing society’s help if she was divorced. The Hammurabi Code describes all of women’s rights and

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