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Women's legal status in the Ming Dynasty

ZHAO Cui-li (College of Humanities , Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China)  
The paper first introduced some juristic items which stipulated the legal rights for the unmarried and married women and also introduced the situations about female crime-committing and forgiveness to female criminals. Comparing these items with those in the Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty, it explored women’s legal status in the Ming Dynasty. Furthermore, through the investigation into the juristic practice and social facts in the Ming Dynasty, the paper reveals that women’s legal status was primarily low but higher in some aspects compared with their counterparts in the past. The causes for the above phenomenon are analyzed briefly.
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