Gender Issues of Mesopotamia
Throughout the history of our society, women have gained a certain respect and certain rights over time. Such simple aspects of life such as getting a job, voting, and even choosing who they would like to marry are things that women have fought for, for many years. At one point, these were all things that women in America and parts of Europe had no right to. Men as a whole had suppressed women and taken control of the society. Despite mass oppression in history, women have risen in society and now posses these natural rights.
Back in the days of Mesopotamia, things were quite different. Women were respected for who they were and did not have to fight to gain the rights they had. Hammurabi’s Code contained laws, which respected the rights of women. Society in general was formed around this sort of sexual equality. Many of the codes within Hammurabi’s Code favor the men of the society, though many of them spell out certain rights for the lives of the women.
Certain laws lie within Hammurabi’s code in order to solve problems of the society. It spells out the punishment for certain acts eliminating any further complications. Code 136 for example, explains what is to happen to a women who’s husband runs off; “If any one leave his house, run away, and then his wife go to another house, if then he return, and wishes to take his wife back: because he fled from his home and ran away, the wife of this runaway shall not return to her husband.1” This code gives women the right to marry another man if her original husband has run away and not come back. Another example, codes 151 and 152 actually show equal responsibility between both men and women:
151. If a woman who lived in a man's house made an agreement with her husband, that no creditor can arrest her, and has given a document therefor: if that man, before he married that woman, had a debt, the creditor can not hold the woman for it. But if the woman, before she entered the man's house, had contracted a debt, her creditor can not arrest her husband therefor.
152. If after the woman had entered the man's house, both contracted a debt, both must pay the merchant. 1
This example of equal responsibility shows to an extent, how women were treated respectfully within...