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Changes and Continuities in the Role of Women 600 C.E

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Presentation on theme: "Changes and Continuities in the Role of Women 600 C.E"— Presentation transcript:

1 Changes and Continuities in the Role of Women 600 C.E. - 1450
Yours Truly, Blanket Girl (Bridget Zeiger)

2 What’s Happening? During this time period,
Islam is spreading Christianity and Buddhism are opened to new regions New empires are developed, based on wealth and acquisition of property Revitalization of neo-Confucianism These features impacted women’s role in each society.

3 In general, Restrictions on women’s freedoms depended on which caste or class they belonged to. In some regions, women at the highest levels could overcome their status and assume leadership roles if a male heir was not capable. Generally, however, as societies became more urban and wealthy, women (especially in the elite and upper class) had their freedoms further restricted, even if their status arose. i.e. Increased veiling in Islamic world Foot-binding in neo-Confucian China Young marriage in South Asia

4 Some Benefits? Access to more education, especially in China and Japan. However, overall, women were usually far less powerful than their male counterparts and had many restrictions.

5 Five Major Regions… Considering the APWH exam is going to be asking on a broad spectrum, here are the five major regions one could focus on… Europe Islam Africa India China

6 Europe There were strict patriarchal and social divisions.
Women could inherit land. Women could bring a court case but could not participate in the sentence. Women usually worked in textiles; they were divided in labor. Christian Monogamy (1 partner) increased. Education is limited to the upper class males. Veiling of upper class is present.

7 Islam There is equality in religion but separate in mosque.
Women received half inheritance of male children. So, if father dies, women receives half of what son would have gotten. Women’s testimonies had less influence than that of a male. Concubines and seclusion in harems were present. Women were exposed to education; literate society. Veiling is public.


9 Africa As trade and new religions increased and arrived, role of women did not change because nomads of African societies were egalitarian. As sedentary lifestyles developed, societies were matriarchal, where women were dominant in household. Women demanded a bride-price. “Mother of the King” was a political office where women held office and participated in religious rituals controlled by women.

10 India There was a strict patriarchal caste system.
Women (and men, too!) married at a very young age. Practice of ‘sati’ for widows was present. Marriage is limited to caste members (one cannot marry outside his/her class). Education is limited. ‘Purdah’: veiling and seclusion was popular during the time.



13 China Confucianism, the dominant religion, held strict guidelines for virtuous behavior. Women have access to dowries and owned businesses. Widow must remain with the son and could not own property if they remarried. The main occupation of women was silk-weaving. Concubines and seclusion in harems were current during the time. State education is limited to men; however, women were still literate. Foot-binding was customary.


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