What effect does private property seem to have on the position of women in society?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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There is no single answer to this question as the relationship of women to private property has varied across different periods and cultures. The first way to think about the issue is to look at the rules applying to gender and property ownership across different cultures.

In some cultures, such as Britain before the passage of the Married Women's Property Act of 1882, all property of women was transferred to their husbands on marriage. This very much reduced the freedom and independence of women.

In ancient Rome, women retained their dowries after marriage and could initiate divorces, returning to their fathers with dowry intact, something that made Roman matrons more powerful than their Greek counterparts.

Next, the notion of primogeniture, inheritance of property by the eldest male, also would impoverish women.

Marxist feminist critics argue that private property is the root of all forms of inequality and that to abolish private property would reduce gender inequality.

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