Women’s Lives in Historical Context: Changes and Improvements in Rights and Roles

Last Updated: 02 Apr 2023
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Women’s Life World Civializations

The life of a women has changed in way of improvement. Back in the days women couldn’t really do much but stay home and take care of the kids. In the 1800 Elizabethan era times most people's rights were fairly limited. There was no democracy, and most people had very little say in national politics, though on the parochial level, men and women could be elected to parish councils. What you did with your life was as much influenced by your social class, degree of wealth, etc, as it was by your gender.

For instance, few children get a chance of more than a very basic education,and most boys and girls would go to work at an early age. it was taken for granted that people defered to those of a higher social class, and the young were expected to defer to the old. For women specifically, there were married women's property acts which were passed in the 1860s and 1880s. The divroce laws were changed so that a woman could obtain a divorce from an adulterous or abusive spouse, and the Infant Custody Act gave women who were innocent parties in divorce the right to have custody of young children.

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In Elizabethan times, the role of the midwife in society was an important one, since childbirth was regarded as an exclusively female affair. The midwife had to be a woman of good character, and was licenced by the local bishop, since she was authorised to baptise newborn babies who she thought were unlikely to live long enough to have a proper baptissm. However, in the 18th century, the rise of the male obstetrician meant that the midwife became a marginal figure in the childbirthing process,instead of being at the centre of it.

Women in the Victorian era

In elizabethan times,when most people lived in the country and were at least partially self-sufficient, being a housewife was a demanding role that involved many specialist skills. A housewife had to be able to brew and bake, spin and weave, preserve food, make home remedies for illness, make other household items like soap and candles, many women even made their own cosmetics and perfume. And they would be in charge of the poultry and the dairy, make their own butter and cheese, and sell their urplus produce at market. Women in the Victorian era . A wife's proper role was to love, honour and obey her husband, as her marriage vows stated. A wife's place in the family hierarchy was secondary to her husband, but far from being considered unimportant, a wife's duties to tend to her husband and properly raise her children were considered crucial cornerstones of social stability by the Victorians. Women seen as falling short of society's expectations were believed to be deserving of harsh criticism.

In divorce great changes in the situation of women took place in the 19th century, especially concerning marriage laws and the legal rights of women to divorce and/or gain custody of children. The situation that fathers always received custody of their children, leaving the mother without any rights, slowly started to change. husband only had to prove his wife's adultery, a woman had to prove her husband had not only committed adultery but also incest, bigamy, cruelty or desertion. Women could secure a separation on the grounds of cruelty and claim custody of their children.

Magistrates even authorised protection orders to wives whose husbands have been convicted of aggravated assault. Victorian morality and sexuality Women were expected to have sex with only one man, their husband. However, it was acceptable for men to have multiple partners in their life. If women did have sexual contact with another man, they were seen as ruined or fallen. In education women were not freely offered the opportunity to study subjects of an extended, classical, and commercial nature. This made it difficult for a woman to break free from the societal constraints to achieve independent economical status.

Despite the Restrictions

Education was specialised by gender. Women were provided with the opportunity to study refined subjects such as history, geography and general literature which would provide them with interesting but noncontroversial topics for discussion. Despite the restrictions and stigmatisation, some women did excel in "male" subjects such as law, physics, engineering, science and art. These women pioneered the path for the much improved gender equality in modern education in the UK. Women were rarely given the opportunity to attend university. It was even said that studying was against their nature and could make them ill.

They were to stay more or less an "ornament of society. An Egyptian woman could acquire possessions in many ways. She could receive it as gifts or as an inheritance from her parents or husband. Or she could receive it from purchases with goods which she earned either through employment, or which she borrowed. A woman had claims to up to one-third of all the community property in her marriage. For example, the property which accrued to her husband and her only after they were married. When a woman brought her own private property to a marriage, ( dowry), it remained hers, even though the husband often had the free use of it.

In the event of a divorce her property had to be returned to her, in addition to any divorce settlement that might be stipulated in the original marriage contract. A woman was free to bequeath property from her husband to her children or even to her own brothers and sisters (unless there was some stipulation against such in her husband's will). A woman could also freely disinherit children of her private property, i. e. , the property she brought to her marriage or her share of the community property. She could selectively bequeath that property to certain children and not to others.

Ancient Egyptian Society

Marrige was a very important part of ancient Egyptian society. Some people say it was almost a duty to get married. Compared to today's world, Egyptian marriages were very different; husbands could marry more than one wife, and people of close relations (first cousins, brothers and sisters, ect. ) could also wed one another. As you read you can see that women’s life has changed to better a women’s life. The women now have lots of rights and are very successful in many ways. Reference , Ph. D / Role Of Women In Ancient Egypt The Natural women’s museum

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Women’s Lives in Historical Context: Changes and Improvements in Rights and Roles. (2017, May 06). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/womens-life/

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