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The Role of Women and Children in Ancient Egypt

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by

Mary Chu

on 26 March 2014

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Transcript of The Role of Women and Children in Ancient Egypt

The Role of Women and Children in Ancient Egypt
(mostly) equal
with men regarding
social and economic
status
Knowledge of the role of women mainly came from tomb decorations, this includes the role of women in society.
Egyptian men usually married
as many wives and children they
could afford, without going poor.

Women were generally really well treated had considerable legal rights compared to women in other ancient civilizations
Women were
entitled to 1/3
of the property
after a divorce
Had the right to own and dispose of land and property, the right to seek divorce, and right to initiate court case/ serve as witness.
Majority of men kept only one wife. Men who could afford more than one wife were the nobles.

Women remained
in charge of her
own assets after
marriage
Husband was not
expected to be the
guardian of his
wife/wives
Usually the first son of the first wife would be the successor, but exceptions could be made.
A woman's main priority in society was to bear and raise children, these women took great pride in managing the household and raising the children.
Legally responsible for their own
actions, which acknowledges the
fact that women in Ancient Egypt
had a legal identity
Women were allowed to
own property in their own
name
The sons of commoners, by age six or seven, would begin to follow their fathers to work. The Egyptian's purpose was to "maintain". So when
the sons came to age, they would replace their fathers when they were too old to work.

In tomb paintings women are often drawn in a yellow colour rather than a dark tan colour like the men, showing that women led a sheltered life outside of the sun
Women could sue, be sued, enter contracts
in their own name, initiate civil court
cases, etc...
Women did not hold important titles in society
had little political power, usually illiterate, and barred from intellectual and government life
Children were really important to ancient Egyptians, so much that early marriages were encouraged so women could have more children while they were young
Most common title
for non-royal Egyptian
women was "mistress
of the house"
The daughters would stay home and
learn how to be good housewives from their mothers.

Infertility was dreaded in ancient Egypt, if n was infertile, she would make pleas to gods and goddesses of fertility and childbirth. Especially Hathor
They would result in spells, amulets, and herbal remedies. If none of these worked women would have to result in adopting a child.
Women were usually portrayed smaller than
their husbands because proportion of people
in drawings depended on their power. There
fore woman were less powerful than men

The later children were
weaned off of breast milk
the greater their chances
of survival

Any disease that
a child caught
was often fatal

In the ancient book "Instructions in Wisdom" men were cautioned to respect the wife of the household
A third of all
children died
before their
first birthday

Boys stay with their mother or elder sisters until he is 4-6 yrs old, that's when they would be sent off to be educated.
Children in the upper class would be taught in a teaching room by a priest or by their father, who would pass on all the knowledge he knew about his occupation.
A
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