Marriage, as it was, as it is and as it should be
Description Marriage, as it was, as it is and as it should be
In this short pamphlet, Annie Besant - a well-known British women's rights activist - lays down British marriage laws as they were at her time. She opposes the view of married women as mere property of their husbands, with virtually no rights of their own, and makes suggestions for the improvement of marriage law, footed on equality of the sexes. In the second part of the pamphlet, she advocates for a law governing full divorce, instead of only the separation of husband and wife the church was granting, unwillingly, if at all.
Although the pamphlet was written in 1882, Besants views of equality of men and women in both marriage and divorce law are surprisingly modern. Her ideas of shared parenting in case of a divorce have not been realised until very recently.