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When women are targeted for accusations of witchcraft and subsequent violence, it is often the case that several forms of discrimination interact - for example, discrimination based on gender with discrimination based on caste, as is the case in India and Nepal, where such crimes are relatively common. A similar legal doctrine, called marital power, existed under Roman Dutch law (and is still partially in force in present-day Swaziland).
Restrictions on married women's rights were common in Western countries until a few decades ago: for instance, French married women obtained the right to work without their husband's permission in 1965, During the Franco era, in Spain, a married woman required her husband's consent (called permiso marital) for employment, ownership of property and traveling away from home; the permiso marital was abolished in 1975.
Personal issues—such as when, how and with whom they choose to have sex, and when, how and with whom they choose to have children—are at the heart of living a life in dignity." Gender has been used, at times, as a tool for discrimination against women in the political sphere.
Women's suffrage was not achieved until 1893, when New Zealand was the first country to grant women the right to vote.
Laws, regulations, and traditions related to marriage continue to discriminate against women in many parts of the world, and to contribute to the mistreatment of women, in particular in areas related to sexual violence and to self-determination in regard to sexuality, the violation of the latter now being acknowledged as a violation of women's rights; in 2012, Navi Pillay, then High Commissioner for Human Rights, has stated that: "Women are frequently treated as property, they are sold into marriage, into trafficking, into sexual slavery.Sexism is intended to rhyme with racism." Another example is scholarly texts that indoctrinate children in female inferiority; women in ancient China were taught the Confucian principles that a woman should obey her father in childhood, husband in marriage, and son in widowhood.Title page of the seventh Cologne edition of the Malleus Maleficarum, 1520 (from the University of Sydney Library).In many countries, married women may not refuse to have sexual relations with their husbands, and often have no say in whether they use contraception ...Ensuring that women have full autonomy over their bodies is the first crucial step towards achieving substantive equality between women and men.
Women in parts of the world continue to lose their legal rights in marriage.