Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
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.