25 Most Sexist Laws Around the World

Sunday, March 8 is International Women's Day, which recognizes the successes of women around the world. A lot of women sure have achieved a good amount of equality in recent years, but some ladies around the globe aren't so lucky.


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These are the 25 mot sexist laws we've found from around the globe, and they are doing a lot of women no favors.

  1. Women in Saudi Arabia are infamously banned from obtaining driver's licenses.
  2. Saudi Arabian women arn't allowed to vote either, so obviously they're not going to be voting for the right to drive anytime soon.
  3. In India, any sexual act committed by a husband on his wife cannot be considered rape -- at least as long as she's over 15 years old.
  4. The same law exists in Singapore, but the wife only has to be 13.
  5. Women in China are banned from working in mines, or "doing any job that requires intense physical labor"
  6. Females in Madagascar aren't allowed to work at night.
  7. There are 456 official jobs in Russia that can't be done by women.
  8. Men in Indonesia, Mali, Algeria, Kenya, and Tanzania are allowed to have more than one wife, but women are not allowed the same privilege when it comes to husbands.
  9. Another Saudi Arabia one that seems strangely odd -- women aren't allowed to go into cemeteries. One female journalist asked, "Can they go in if they're dead?" Good question. Yes, apparently, in case you were wondering.
  10. In Cuba, boys can get married at 16, but girls only have to be 14.
  11. Only women can be prostitutes in the Philippines, where a law from 2012 states that "women who, for money or profit, habitually indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be prostitutes."
  12. In Yemen, a woman is considered only half a witness.
  13. Inheritance laws in both Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates state that "the male inherit twice as much as the female."
  14. Wives in Yemen don't have a right to turn down their husbands. The law states that she must allow her man to "have legitimate intercourse with her when she is fit to do so."
  15. Women are not allowed to vote in Vatican City
  16. Mothers who suffer the pain of having a miscarriage may be jailed in El Salvador.
  17. In Morocco, girls are forced to marry their rapists.
  18. Iranian men are allowed to marry non-Muslim women, but a woman's intended must convert to Islam if he wishes to marry her.
  19. Tanzanian widows may be turned out of their matrimonial homes, forced to leave children, and any property earned during the marriage.
  20. Female genital mutilation is a widespread issue in Africa, and un-pursued by authorities.
  21. Lebanon doesn't have civil codes to cover divorce, property rights, or care of children. 
  22. Japanese girls only have to be 16 to marry, but the boys must be 18.
  23. In Malta, a kidnapper is given leniency if he plans on marrying his victim. He isn't punished at all if he actually does.
  24. Girls are considered adults and therefore criminally responsible at eight or nine years old in Iran, but boys aren't held to the same standards until they're 15.
  25. It's totally legal in Nigeria for a husband to beat his wife, for the "purpose of correcting" her. Also a parent or schoolmaster may beat a child in order to correct him or her.

Do you think it's time for things to change around the world?


Image via Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr

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