My Mazamet

Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho

Women, Business and the Law 2016: Getting to Equal (?)


Part I.

Here’s a report from the World Bank that everyone should read. Especially before the idiot du jour decides it’s time to dismiss feminism.


About 155 countries have at least one law that limits women’s economic opportunities, while 100 states put restrictions on the types of jobs women can do and 18 allow husbands to dictate whether their wives can work at all.

32 countries require women to get permission from their husbands to apply for a passport and 22 do not allow married mothers to confer citizenship on their children. Thirty states have legislation that designates men household heads, while women in 19 countries are legally obliged to obey their husbands.

25 years ago only 7 countries had laws against domestic violence. That number has fortunately gone up considerably.

Countries in the Middle East and north Africa had the most discriminatory laws, particularly around women’s ability to work or move freely. But south Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, were also found wanting, having made the fewest reforms over the past two years.

Researchers found that 41 countries prohibit women from working in certain factory jobs, while 29 do not allow women to work at night. In Russia, for example, women are barred from 456 jobs.

In 35 countries, women do not have the same inheritance rights as men when their spouses die. Even when there are laws in place, women are often pressured to give up their inheritance.

90% of countries have at least one law that impedes women’s economic opportunities.

In Part II I’ll explain how and why patriarchy affects us all. 



25 comments on “Women, Business and the Law 2016: Getting to Equal (?)

  1. acflory
    October 10, 2016

    Thanks, PInky. What a depressing start to the day. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • But it’s better than 25 years ago!


      • acflory
        October 10, 2016

        Better yes, but in the sense that the handcuffs are now off, but the ball and chain around the ankles is still there. As a woman living in the West I count myself very lucky. But I’m in a minority. Half the world’s population is female. The lucky ones like me are a drop in the ocean.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. kjennings952
    October 10, 2016

    I was fortunate enough to hear Gloria Steinem last week. She shared 3 facts that stuck with me: 1. Women will earn $1million less in their lifetimes than their male peers. 2. There are fewer women than men in the world primarily because of violence against women (especially sexualized violence). 3. Man camps. These are settlements of male workers usually in the oil industry. The isolation from women leads to all kinds of issues. I look forward to part 2 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gloria is absolutely fabulous. Pun intended! 😀
      1. If women will earn 1 million less than men, and I’m a man, how much will I get and when? Is there somewhere where I should sign up?

      Liked by 1 person

      • kjennings952
        October 10, 2016

        Nice. I did think to myself that if those are the rules then I will find a workaround (ie be my own boss).

        Ps Anyone who can wear leather pants at age 81 and look good is a force to be reckoned with.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Carmen
    October 10, 2016

    Thank you for posting this, Mr. M. I read an inflammatory blog post yesterday and this is a good counter to it. Anyone who doesn’t think that patriarchy is a ‘thing’ needs their head examined. 😦

    Liked by 5 people

    • Carmen, my friend, I think we may have read the same thing- hence my irritation!


      • Carmen
        October 10, 2016

        Methinks he’s been swimming in MRA waters; toxic and poisonous. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

      • Whatever that is, it’s not good. Mad cow-…-boy-disease? Ick.


      • Carmen
        October 11, 2016

        Men’s Rights Activists – you want to wade around in some murk, try some of that shit on. Just awful stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Godless Cranium
        October 11, 2016

        Carmen, I’m not an MRA. I’m also not a feminist. I believe in equality. I don’t understand why you think it’s okay to smear me here when I said nothing awful to you. You don’t know anything about me.

        It’s like I’m back in high school.

        People can hold differing opinions. It doesn’t make them monsters or idiots.


      • Carmen
        October 11, 2016

        GC, you state you are not an MRA, yet you use their talking points. (you seem to be blissfully unaware that it’s feminists who have raised awareness of FGM, for instance) I AM a feminist, have raised feminists, and am married to a feminist. I happen to be one of those people who feels that everyone should be a feminist, as a matter of fact. It comes with no baggage as it’s an ideological belief in the equality of females and males; I’m not sure where you get the idea that it should have baggage attached. However, I have certainly run across this idea before online and it makes me scratch my head.

        You are getting ‘smeared’ on this blog because I will not come to yours to comment; you would have access to my email and – considering your attitude on display in the last three posts of yours – I don’t feel comfortable doing that. That statement should alert you to the fact that I am concerned about your feminist-bashing – specifically – which, to me, indicates disrespect for all women. I’m sure you cannot understand that sentiment as it appears to me that you aren’t getting what most people are trying to tell you. Your refusal to even acknowledge that a patriarchal society exists – yes, even in Canada! – is perplexing, to say the least.

        I think the same thing I always think when I read through yet another screed against feminists. You are not LISTENING to women (or to the men who are trying to make you understand, either). It appears, from your last three posts and your comments on this post, that you have a particular beef against one feminist and have targeted all others in retaliation.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Godless Cranium
    October 11, 2016

    By your own report, you can find a graph that shows Canada has 0 Number of laws that limit women’s economic opportunities.

    “Countries including Canada, Peru and Namibia, were among 18 found to have no legal restrictions on women in the seven areas studied.”

    That’s pretty awesome and exactly what we need.

    Remember what I said about Middle Eastern countries? Here in your report:

    “Countries in the Middle East and north Africa had the most discriminatory laws, particularly around women’s ability to work or move freely.”

    I also said feminism should be alive and well in those countries and that you don’t have to identify as a feminist in a Western country, with all the baggage that comes with it, to care about any of those issues.

    I’m just as much against those things you mentioned in your cut and paste post (looking for positive reinforcement most likely) as you are.

    Not that you’ll read this because you’re better at calling people idiots than actually talking facts, I’ll point you towards new studies that show young women are out earning young men:

    “Women are paid more than men until they reach their 40s, according to an official assessment of the gender pay gap.

    It found that the difference between wage levels for male and female employees leans in favour of women rather than men among workers in their 20s and 30s.

    Twenty-something women have earned more than men in the same age group for the past decade.”

    And this little tidbit from the same article:

    But Patricia Morgan, an author and researcher on the family, said: ‘If the pay gap in the 20s and 30s was the other way around there would be bucketloads of experts jumping up and down demanding that we act to address this dreadful inequality.

    No-one seems to worry about being unfair to men.‘This is about women and their ability to choose to have children, and to look after them themselves. There is a smack of totalitarianism about the attitude which says women cannot choose to bring up their own children rather than pursue careers.’

    Amazing. I guess it isn’t as cut and dry as you’d like to believe. Look outside your smear campaign of a bubble and you’ll see that not everything is hunky dory.

    So let me reiterate my points so you can’t misrepresent what I said.

    1) I believe in equality for everyone, including men and women
    2) We should be addressing the pay gaps for both men and women
    3) I don’t want to identify as a feminist because I don’t like the baggage it comes with and I don’t agree with everything the ideology stands for
    4) I think feminist activists should be targeting those countries in your study, much like I pointed out in my first post when I said feminists are letting those people down, especially those countries that actively oppress women the worst
    5) I think it cowardly of you to come to my blog and insult me with name calling, harass me even after I tell you several times that it’s okay not to agree with my position, and then come here and call me an idiot again.
    6) I am not an MRA. I believe in equality. I would disagree with MRA’s for the same reason I disagree with feminists. Not all of what they say is untrue. Not all of what feminists say is untrue. But they both don’t represent my views and I don’t want to be lumped in with their movements. I prefer to think for myself.

    It’s not okay to call people names because they disagree with you. If you look at the bigger picture, you will see it’s not as simple as you make it out to be. You’re also being disingenuous when you present this piece as if I was at all in any way discussing the countries in this report that actively oppress women.

    I wasn’t. You know it and I know it. I know you were angry, but I think that if you’re so angry about it that you have to call people names, smear them and misrepresent what they said in their own post, then you have some serious anger issues you need to deal with.


    • Fabulous. *You* think feminist activists should be focusing on the things *you*, a man, thinks are most important.
      You who have perhaps not suffered sexism in anywhere near the same way as women, think you’re in a position to be dictating to people who have suffered as the result of sexism how and what they should be fighting it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Godless Cranium
        October 11, 2016

        That’s all you got out of that entire comment? You’re not going to address any real point that I made? You’re just going to attempt to invalidate everything I said based on me being a man?

        Wow. You’re being super unreasonable.


      • Your arguments invalidated themselves. I recommend you re-read your first post looking at it as if you were an outsider.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Godless Cranium
        October 11, 2016

        I wasn’t posting or commenting on something I wrote. I was commenting on your post. Try responding to that.


  5. Godless Cranium
    October 11, 2016


    “t comes with no baggage as it’s an ideological belief in the equality of females and males;”

    All ideologies come with baggage because they have to defend the tenets of their ideology and the subsequent movement they are a part of.

    You sound like a dictionary feminist – equality for both sexes. I get it. I’d blissfully call myself a feminist if that’s all I had to defend if I was a feminist, but I don’t feel it is. I also can be for equality without identifying as a feminist.

    “I happen to be one of those people who feels that everyone should be a feminist, as a matter of fact.”

    That’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    However, not everyone is going to agree with you and we are free not to identify as one for the reasons mentioned above.

    “which, to me, indicates disrespect for all women. ”

    Then you would be discounting the ones who agree with me. Feminism doesn’t speak for all women. Disagreeing with something that a feminist says doesn’t mean you disrespect all women. Similar to if I disagree with Christianity, I don’t automatically hate all Christians.

    You see the difference?

    In fact, the woman I live with is an ardent feminist. She knows I don’t disrespect her and we have discussions about feminism all the time. I respect her opinion and see where she is coming from and she mine. We exchange ideas and points of view.

    “patriarchal society exists – yes, even in Canada! – is perplexing, to say the least.”

    I’m sorry you feel that way but I don’t. Feel free to change my mind. I’m allowed to hold contrary views and so are you.

    “I think the same thing I always think when I read through yet another screed against feminists. You are not LISTENING to women ”

    Or maybe you aren’t listening to the screed or some of the women who write them. You act as if no woman disagrees with feminism and some do.

    ” It appears, from your last three posts and your comments on this post, that you have a particular beef against one feminist and have targeted all others in retaliation.”

    By offering you valid facts in this comment section?

    If you were really about equality for both sexes, then are you concerned about what I said earlier in this thread?

    Point being, that I’m fine with you holding different opinions than my own. I’m fine with Pink holding different opinions. You two seem to have a real problem with me holding a different opinion and it has made (Pink in particular) so virulently angry that he thinks it’s okay to call people names, harass them and smear their character.

    That’s not okay.


  6. Carmen
    October 11, 2016

    “Feminism doesn’t speak for all women.” Well, yes, actually it does – that’s kinda the point. Which you keep missing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Godless Cranium
      October 11, 2016

      Actually, no. It doesn’t. Would you like me to point you to a site where there are literally thousands of pictures of women holding up signs saying feminism doesn’t represent them and why?

      Or maybe channels run by women who disagree with feminism and refuse to identify as one?

      You don’t get to tell other people what they think or who represents their interests. That’s the point you keep missing – there are people who do not agree with you and they are as entitled and free to have that opinion as you are. That in no way makes it ethical for you or anyone else to call them names or harass them online.

      Are you going to address anything else I said?


      • Carmen
        October 11, 2016

        You mean those same women who have benefitted from the efforts of feminists? Oh, the irony.

        The list of achievements by feminists is long and I’m sure – since you have a feminist girlfriend – you are familiar with them. Needless to say, when we talk about women’s rights we are talking about human rights.

        Pardon me, but where have I told other people what to think? I told you what I think and of course you don’t agree with me – nor do you have to. Where have I insisted that others need to have the same opinion as I do? And who would I have called names and harassed online??

        Liked by 1 person

      • Godless Cranium
        October 11, 2016

        Yes. From the past.

        Regardless, of whether you agree with their decision, they clearly don’t want feminism speaking for them or representing them. That’s their choice and so your claim that feminism speaks for all of them is false.

        And you didn’t call names. That was Pink. Thank you for that. I appreciate it and salute you for it. 😊


  7. Esme (@cococroissants)
    October 24, 2016

    The sad fact is here it is 2016 and women are still oftentimes paid less than men. I am an attorney and had worked for the government as a Crown Attorney in Canada-I was shocked to receive backpay for unequal pay.


  8. dannyj045
    January 18, 2017

    Great post! I recently started a blog about my law school experience check it out if you have a chance.


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