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Hammurabi's famous code reflected ancient world beliefs regarding women and their status in society, but does treat them fairly and protects them in some very progressive ways.
According to the code, a marriage contract was nessecery. This contract stipulated what would happen if the marriage ended as a result of death or divorce.
The husband did keep control of all family assets, but funds had to be set aside for the wife and children's benefit should anything happen to them.
Adultry was designated as sexual congress with a married woman. The marital status of the man didn't matter.
A man could divorce his wife without reason as long as she was childless. But if they had children, he needed to return the dowery, she kept the kids and she got use of some of the family property to support the kids. Women could also seek divorce, but needed the help of the courts.
So, as you can see, the status of women was actually a great deal more progressive than most other societies.
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