“One of the central values of ancient Egyptian civilization was ma'at - the concept of harmony and balance in all aspects of one's life. This ideal was the most important duty observed by the pharaoh who, as a mediator between the gods and the people, was supposed to be a role model for how one lived a balanced life.” This balance was seen in society as well as a balance between men and women. Women in Ancient Egypt were treated very well compared to women in other ancient worlds such as in Ancient Greek.
Women in Ancient Egypt were equal to men in most areas. Although men did often hold the more powerful and authoritative jobs, women still had much authority. Men tended to fight, run the government, and manage the farms while women …show more content…
This is shown in many different aspects, from social customs to religion. Women could marry whomever they chose and they were allowed to get divorced. They were able to get jobs, to some degree, and they could travel. The Egyptian Gods were both male and female. Since ladies were considered legitimately skilled, they did not require the supervision or endorsement of a man in order to seek after lawful activity. Marriages were not arranged by the men of the household. If a woman chose to get a divorce, society would not look down on her. However, life-long marriages were preferable in the eyes of society. Brier and Hobbs comment on this: “Whether rich or poor, any free person had the right to the joys of marriage. Marriage was not a religious issue in Egypt - no function including a minister occurred - however just a social tradition that required an understanding, which is to state an agreement, consulted by the suitor on the group of his planned spouse. The agreement involved an exchange of objects of value on both sides. The suitor offered a sum called the "virginity gift" when appropriate, to compensate the bride for what she would lose, indicating that in ancient times virginity was prized in female brides. The gift did not apply in the case of second marriages, of course, but a "gift to the bride" would be made even in that case. In return, the family of the bride-to-be offered a "gift in order to become a wife." In many cases,
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Throughout history, men typically dominated societies. Men have always appeared to have more respect and rights than women, depending on certain civilizations. In societies like Egypt, men were frequently pharaohs and today, are considered to be great rulers. Women were often expected to take the job of motherhood in Egyptian society. Although this was their anticipated responsibility, women, usually upper class and royal, were still permitted to get an education, to possess property, own businesses, have a job and be involved in military control. Women could also rule as pharaoh, which was an infrequent occurrence but did sometimes happen. Hatshepsut, for example, is one of the few women who became a pronounced leader in the ancient
The understanding of gender roles in society has been very fluid in the evolution of mankind. In ancient civilizations, the roles that you were given within a society were centered primarily around gender. These gender roles did vary from civilization to civilization, but were generally comparable. In most ancient civilizations, the roles of women were confined to the household. This was evident in most societies, but a stand out among these was Ancient Egypt. In which, Egypt was one of the only civilizations where women were even remotely equal to men. When comparing to other societies during the ancient time period, women were most respected in Egypt.
Gender roles in ancient Mesopotamia were clearly defined (teachmiddleeast.edu). Generally, men worked outside of the home and women stayed inside of the home while focusing on raising their children and keeping up with work that took place in the home. However, there were exceptions; we know of women who were “bartenders” and even women who were priestesses, but with limited responsibility. Due to the fact that some were from socially higher families and owned large amounts of property, those women were not allowed to marry. Women at the time were given much less freedom than men, however, women were more protected than men, which is seen in Hammurabi’s Code of Law, specifically in his 130th law:
In the Egyptian society women had the same rights, both legal and economic, as the men in their society. They could both work the same job and earn the same regardless of sex. Each member of the relationship maintained and respected the ownership of what was brought into the marriage. It is not known why these rights existed for women, especially during this time period. Women could even become pharaoh. Nowhere else in the ancient world did something like this exist. The women bore and raised the children. They were basically responsible for all of the more usual or domestic related relationships, while the men taught their growing boys about the world and their own trade. Men in ancient Egypt were often expected to form a life for themselves before going out to find a wife. The males would rarely be able to choose their own careers. It was more common for the men to receive the job their father had when they reached working age. The Egyptian society was
However, in Mesopotamia, the males subjugated the women. To stop married women from tempting other men, they were forced to cover their bodies, except for their faces, with veils. Women in Mesopotamia were often arranged into marriages, without a say on the subject. The Mesopotamian women had little impact on their society, while certain Egyptian women were able to gain highly influential positions in their society. One Egyptian woman even became the Queen of Egypt, alongside her son. Due to Egypt being less strict towards the women, Egyptian women were able to have a greater influence on their society. Although both civilizations were patriarchal, they varied on how strict they were towards women.
Egyptian women were fortunate in that they were equal to men as far as the law was concerned. They could own property, borrow money, initiate divorce, and many other things unheard of in the Greek civilization. The Egyptian royal line was matriarchal, meaning that royalty was passed down from mother to son. The Greeks, in comparison, were patriarchal, meaning control was passed from father to son. It was also necessary for a man to marry a woman of royalty in order to become a Pharaoh. Because of this, it was common for brothers to marry sisters. Sometimes, women were even known to become a Pharaoh. There are at least four documented female Pharaohs with the most notable being Hatshepsut (1479-1458 B.C.) (McKay 2009). Hatshepsut, though a very powerful ruler, was often times depicted in men’s clothing and with a false beard (McKay 2009). This shows that even though women were much more important in Egyptian society, there was still a stigma around women leaders.
The people groups in ancient Egyptian were very different than our societies social groups today. Ancient Egyptians were grouped in a hierarchical system with the Pharaoh at the top and farmers and slaves at the bottom. The groups of people nearest to the top of society were the richest and most powerful. The Pharaoh was believed to be a god on earth and had the most power. He was responsible for making laws and keeping order. Ensuring that Egypt was not attacked or invaded by enemies and for keeping the gods happy so that the Nile flooded and there was a good harvest. The Vizier was the Pharaoh's chief advisor
In Egypt, although men were the dominant gender in society, women were treated with great respect, which led to a very stable and successful society. The Egyptians believed that the goal of life was happiness and viewed home and family life as the main source of it. Egyptian law basically treated women as equals for the most part. Women were allowed to hold positions of power, own property, own slaves, receive an education, and even borrow money. Although Pharaohs were normally men, certain circumstances allowed for women to hold the same title. The Egyptians believed that marriage and family were very important aspects in life. They believed that unconditional love and kindness were vital in a marriage and thought that husband and wife should always treat each other with respect. In regards to family, unlike many cultures that viewed children as another mouth to
Egyptians paid great respect to women at least in the upper classes, in part because marriage alliances were vital to the preservation and stability of the monarchy. The Egyptians believe that the royal family was immortal. The word family brings every member of the family to the same circle of respect and power. The man like in the Mesopotamian civilization was the head of the family. That is also seemed in today’s daily life in most cases. A statue of Pharaoh Mycerinus and his queen represents the wife presenting her husband and not the husband presenting his wife as the powerful one.
One of the most striking differences between ancient Athenian women and ancient Egyptian women was the ability to hold positions of power. Egyptian women were monarchs and held other positions depending on their social status. (Capel 1996, 176) Women were allowed to participate in low ranking government jobs, especially during war when the men are off fighting and leaving behind their positions. However, these positions were not kept for long because the men upon return automatically earned their position back by being the superior sex (Watterson 1991,).
Legally, women in Ancient Egypt permitted to have nearly an equal amount of independence and privilege to the natural rights as men. In Egypt they treat their ladies much nicer than any of the other major civilizations of the ancient world. In contrast to those of other ancient civilization, Egyptian women seemed to appreciate the equal legal and economic rights as the Egyptian man. Compared to Mesopotamia, the ladies of Egypt were given the right to partake in court from all aspects. The women are capable of being a judge at court or they could act as eyewitnesses, and they can even bring their own cases to the court. Like men, Egyptian women had the right to own and manage their own private property, they are capable of disowning children, and
In today’s society, we as women often take for granted the rights, freedoms, and equality we share with men that women in the ancient world were not granted. As all civilisations in the ancient world exercised different treatment towards, this essay will illustrate a few comparisons in the status of women during ancient Egypt with women during ancient Rome. Academic sources will be relied on to provide the necessary actualities when one considers ancient civilizations. The legal status of women in society, the domestic atmospheres and roles that each unique region’s women held, and the possible occupations available to these women, will be discussed.
The way women have been treated varies throughout time, in some time periods women were oppressed and fighting for rights, in others they were queens. In the ancient societies of Egypt and India, women were treated differently than men, although in different ways. In Egypt, women were still treated with respect and dignity, while in India the roles of women were to be submissive and compliant.
Let’s start out talking about the Mesopotamians. The role of a Mesopotamian woman was strictly defined. She was either a daughter to her father or a wife to her husband. Women rarely acted and were treated as individuals outside of their families. If you were allowed to it was because you were usually royalty or the wives of men who had power and status.