Essay on Religion as a Method of Improvement for Gender Equality

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Religion as a Method of Improvement for Gender Equality Although women were still viewed and treated as second-class citizens, the status of women seemed improve under Christianity, especially in regard to social interaction and Islam, especially in regard to legal rights such as inheritance laws. The improvement of women’s situation was particularly pronounced when compared to the even lesser status of women during the Greek and Roman periods. Improvement in the treatment of women under Christianity and Islam is evident in the religious texts of both of the religions. Christianity’s The Gospel According to Mark and The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians and Islam’s central religious text, The Koran, provide concrete evidence as to…show more content…
Like many components of Roman society, Rome’s views on women were similar to that of the Greeks. Despite the fact the status of women improved to an extent during the Roman period (as evidenced by women’s legal ability to hold and inherit property and accepted presence at convivia), women were still confined to the home with little to no formal education, because they were viewed as subordinate to men. In fact, the vice of luxuria was associated with women. Softness was a woman’s trait—a completely undesirable trait for a man. Romans literature stressed the fact that women were ruled by emotion, and thus inferior to men. In Virgil’s Aeneid, women, represented by Dido, the Queen of Carthage, are depicted as being passionate and incredibly susceptible to madness and deception, and thus women are once again associated with passion-related weakness and viewed as lesser entities than men. On the other hand, women’s experience in society underwent some improvements under Christianity, especially in regard to social interactions between women and men. Although social conventions at the time placed restrictions on public encounters between religiously observant men and women, the Christian New Testament provides many examples of a relative progressivity in regard to women’s situation in society. Many stories indicate that women found Jesus’ teachings liberating.
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