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In the present legal structure, some laws exclude women from legal
rights, opportunities, or responsibilities. Some are framed as legislation
conferring special benefits, or protection, on women. Others create or
perpetuate a separate legal status without indicating on their face
whether the position of women ranks below, or above, the position
of men. Many of the efforts to create a separate legal status for women
stem from a good faith attempt to advance the interests of women.
Nevertheless, the preponderant effect has been to buttress the social
and economic subordination of women.
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