Women In Ancient Egypt

907 Words4 Pages
1. Introduction In the ancient world each society exercised different treatment towards women, today, unlike during the ancient world, women enjoy more freedom, rights, and equality. In this essay, the status of women in ancient Egypt will be compared to the status of women during ancient Rome. Academic sources will be relied on to provide the necessary actualities when one considers ancient civilisations. The legal status of women in society, the different roles that each unique region’s women played, and the possible education permitted and occupations available to these women will be discussed, as well as, their domestic atmospheres will be compared in this short essay to demonstrate the different treatment (if there were a difference)…show more content…
3. Domestic life and society Ancient Egyptian women and Roman women’s most important social role was that of managing a household, however, ancient Egyptian women were accorded a relatively high social status (Watterson 1991:23) and were not confined to the house (Robins 1993:113). They could take part in business activities (Watterson 1991:25), in contrast to Roman women, who had a very limited role in public life, and could not attend, speak in, or vote at political assemblies and could not hold any position of political responsibility or conduct their own business (Clarke 1981:206-207). Once Roman women were married they took on the social status of their husband and had a duty to look after the home, bear and nurture children (Gardner 1991:67). Women who could afford slaves had a life of more leisure, but the less fortunate women in both regions had to prepare their own food, clean their houses, and wash their clothes (Watterson…show more content…
Five professions were also possible, namely: priesthood, midwifery, mourning, dancing, and music, priesthood being the highest position conferred upon Egyptian women (Watterson 1991:38). Roman women were also dressmakers, nurses, midwifes, and could hold a religious position, that of a Vestal Virgin, priestess of the Roman goddess, Vesta (Clark 1981:198). It is evident that Roman women were relegated in society and led a more sheltered life compared to Egyptian women. 5. Conclusion When it came to women in ancient Egypt and ancient Rome, there is no denying that such a contrast between their statuses existed. Their positions and privileges in their respective societies differed, though Roman women were not confined to their homes and social status, they were throughout their lives subject to the authority of their fathers and husbands, unlike Egyptian women who did not require a male guardian to act on her behalf. Per conclusion, after comparing the different aspects of these women’s lives, it is evident, though they both did not share an equal status with the males in their society, ancient Egyptian women did enjoy more freedom and equal treatment, as opposed to ancient Roman
Open Document