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The Profession Of Women In The 16th Century

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In the 16th century women were not allowed in the professions (such as doctors, lawyers and teachers) and female employment was often menial and low paid. However women were allowed to join some of the guilds organizations of tradespeople and skilled workers. In 1562 a law, the Statute of Artificers, made it illegal to employ a man or a woman in a trade unless they had served a 7 year apprenticeship. However in the case of women the law was often not enforced. Very often the guilds let male members employ their wives or daughters in their workshops. Furthermore if a craftsman died his widow often carried on his trade. Some women worked in food preparation such as brewers, bakers or confectioners.
Women also sold foodstuffs in the streets.
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