|Out of universe information|
The Shavadai (People of the Steppe) is the name given to one of the four tribes of people that inhabitant Simarka, a world SG-1 visited on one of their earliest missions. The Shavadai were brought to their world long ago by the Goa'uld Raiden. They seem to be descended from Earth's Mongols and, according to Daniel Jackson, their society has changed very little since then.
Until very recently, the Shavadai treated their women as property, supposedly to protect them from what they called evil spirits (possibly the Goa'uld), though the laws are actually geared towards control and repression. Some men of the Shavadai, such as Moughal, saw the error of the "old ways", and treated their women better, but did little to change them. It seems that the laws were absolute and that women would be punished for disobeying them regardless of whether they were aware the laws existed. It took the influence of an outsider, Samantha Carter, to finally liberate the women of the Shavadai. (SG1: "Emancipation")