An analysis of the role of women in history

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An analysis of the role of women in history

The feminist protests of the sixties and seventies brought many changes. Church and Medicine Women in modern history, including twentieth century feminist revolution The Changing Experience of Women Through History Throughout history, women have had very different experiences at different times.

Some past societies had women who were warriors, powerful priestesses, and political leaders.

Women Through History: Women's Experience Through the Ages | Owlcation

At other times strict expectations have been placed on women, with male writers portraying them as inferior to men. Looking at how a society treats its women can be very enlightening.

An investigation into the position of women at different points in history shows us how our society has grown and changed.

An analysis of the role of women in history

Often we think of history developing in a straight line. Women enjoy a better level of equality in present-day Western societies than at any time in history that we know of. Unfortunately, the further back in history you go, the less equality women have had.

However, the truth is not so simple. In fact, women through history have gained and lost power at different times. We can also remember that in many parts of the world today, women do not enjoy equal opportunities to earn, participate in politics or get an education.

They can face gender-based violence and discrimination. Progress is not inevitable - we need to take action to ensure women have a life of dignity and fairness.

Women in Ancient Times Surprisingly perhaps, ancient history records many strong female figures - rulers and warriors who did deeds the history-writers thought worthy of recording. Their names echo down history to the present day.

The first poem written down, which has survived to the present day, was written by a women called Enheduanna. She was a priestess in Sumerian civilisation and her poem is a prayer of praise to a female deity called Innana.

So, the first known author was a woman - very interesting given that in later times women were discouraged from writing and even from learning to read! The impact of Greco-Roman culture was significant.

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Within the Roman empire, for example, women had a role defined by staying at home and staying out of politics. The Greeks may have invented democracy but they didn't give women the vote. However, in other parts of the ancient world, women played a significant historical role. In the Celtic culture of Gaul now France and the British Isles, women fought as warriors alongside their men.

What they may have lacked in physical strength, they are said to have made up for in the fierceness of their attacks. Boudicca, a British Celtic queen who fought against the roman invaders of her country is a prime example of how a woman at this time could be a political and military leader.

Women and the Church in Medieval Europe In the early Christian church, there is evidence that women could hold positions of influence equal to men.

This was particularly true of followers of Gnostic Christianity in the first and second centuries AD who had female bishops among their communities. As sensationalised in the Da Vinci Code, there are indications that Mary Magdalene was once a significant religious leader - on a par with Peter and the other apostles.

An apocryphal gospel of Mary Magdalene was discovered in the late nineteenth century in Egypt - only an important religious figure would have a gospel named after them.

But all this was to change. In the fourth and fifth centuries AD, there was a systematic degrading of women in the writings of the 'Church Fathers'. Writers such as Tertullian.

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Saint Augustine and Saint Jerome vented bitter spleen against women - women were weak and hysterical and open to temptations they said, women's hair should be covered as it was the work of the devil, men stood between women and God in the hierarchy of the universe It was these church fathers who blamed Eve for the downfall of humanity, and by extension all women, everywhere.

Their writings seem to have had a huge impact. Even today, women cannot be priests in the Catholic church which has followed on from these early traditions.

An analysis of the role of women in history

The treatment of women in Medieval medicine also shows how women have been put down through history. Women had traditionally been herbal healers, and their wisdom was very valuable in a world without modern medicine.

Often they gave their help to friends and neighbours freely, or in exchange for small items. As the middle ages wore on, men began to muscle in on what had traditionally been the realm of women.

Apothecaries, barber-surgeons, alchemists and doctors began to compete with herbal cures.Mar 10,  · Watch video · More than , women worked in the U.S.

aircraft industry in , making up 65 percent of the industry’s total workforce (compared to just 1 percent in the pre-war years). Women like Ching Shih, who started out working in a brothel and ended up commanding one of the largest pirate fleets in history, or Ida B.


Wells, who was born a slave and became a famous. The History of Women in Education Christine A. Woyshner, Bonnie Hao Kuo Tai The nineteenth century saw major advances in educational opportunities for women and girls, from the common school movement in the early part of the century to multiple opportunities in higher education at the century's close.

• Compare role of women in Russian Revolution to role of women in the French Revolution • Compare status of women in the Soviet Union with the status of women in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany • Women make huge contributions to the war effort during WWI and WWII Women in European History.

Feb 04,  · Watch video · She advocated for an increased role for women in the political process and is remembered as a pioneer of feminism and the women’s rights movements.

Women's History. By. Editors. Introduction. Following a worldwide feminist movement in the later 20th century, women became a renewed topic for art and art history, giving rise to gender analysis of both artistic production and art historical discourse.

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