Essay about Differences in Gender Roles During the Middle Ages

1836 Words Jun 23rd, 2012 8 Pages
Women in the Middle Ages

History is marked by specific periods; which illustrates the cultural, economic, religious, and educational setting of the time. One such era is the Middle Ages or Medieval Period. This period that dates from around 850-1400, was defined by the “Italian Renaissance humanist, Francesco Petrarch, who coined the term Middle Ages to describe the period in European history from the end of the Roman Empire until his own time, the 1300s”. There were many changes that occurred during this span in history; such as the development of cities and the marketplace, which allowed some people to obtain financial wealth and move into a new social bracket. This redistribution of the pecking order was a source of distress for
…show more content…
Life in the church consisted of prayer, study, and work. Convents were self-sufficient communities and all nuns were expected to work about 5 to 6 hours a day. In addition to living a life of religious purity; a nun was more liberated than other women of the Middle Ages because the convent provided nuns opportunities to continue their education and be free of a man’s control.
During the Middle Ages there was an influx in the growth of urban life, thus there became a need for more commerce in the marketplace and workers to fulfill that responsibility, which in turn allowed women to join men in the guild sector. Therefore, the third division of women was the free townswoman or a tradesman’s wife. This group of females was skilled in a specific trade and sold their products in the open market alongside their husband’s guild enterprise. The types of jobs that the skilled female laborer might possess were silk worker, midwife, barber, apothecary, book producer and decorations, and manufacturer of food and beverages. In addition, many women within this class distinction worked beside their husband in his guild business, selling whatever product the family association provided the public. More so, the middle class female would act for her husband in his absence, and if the man died the woman was able to continue the business. Although the tradesman’s wife was capable of

More about Essay about Differences in Gender Roles During the Middle Ages

Open Document