The laws of Kautilya are not severe towards women. The desire for
begetting a son is still the predominant factor in society, and laws are framed in its
favour. Kautilya's laws made it difficult for a man to re-marry. The demand for women was
high, and a maiden was bought by payment of a Sulka to her parents.
Kautilya lays stress on this in every point relating to women. The
sanctity and the binding nature of a marriage contract were connected, with this Sulka.
Stridhana or womans property found a definite legal recognition at Court, and if
could not be appropriated even by a king on failure of natural heirs.
From the severe punishments that he irnposes12
on men for defiling a
maiden, it can be concluded that he allowed marriage only when the girls had attained
The proper marriage cable age for a girl is three years after her
maturity: for he inflicts severe punishment on a man who defiles a maiden 'who has not
attained maturity 13 and pardons one who defiles a maiden who remains unmarried for
three years after her maturity.