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Role of Women in the 16th Century
Transcript of Role of Women in the 16th Century
Women's main role was to raise the children as well as take care of her husband and the home
Arranged marriages were very common especially among the rich
Girls could marry at age 12
Women were expected to have a child roughly every year or every other year depending on their social class
Women lost control of their life once they were married
Divorce was never heard of in these times
Women were not allowed to vote Background Women married to the king could only become ruler of the country if her husband died
Even if a women's husband died if she had any sons they would gain power over her
If a woman remarried, after her first husband died, he would gain all of her money and if she had power (i.e., queen) it would be lost Women Gaining Power There were not many professions open to women
Mostly men would work and women would stay home and take care of their families
Lawyer, doctor, and teaching jobs were firmly closed to women
Jobs that women were allowed to do would be tailors, milliners, dyers, shoemakers, servants, nannies and embroiderers
Most common type of work for a woman was a housewife Women's Jobs Many housewives would have to bake bread for the family, as well as make beer to brew (they could not drink water as it was not safe)
Housewives would have to create preservatives for the food as they had no way of cooling the food
If they live in the country the women would be responsible for making candles and soap for her family
Housewives were expected to have knowledge of medicine to treat her families illnesses, if she did not have this knowledge they would go and see a wise woman, as many people could not afford a real doctor
Housewives would also be responsible for cooking and cleaning Tasks for a Housewife
A farmer or merchant's wife, would have more responsibilities then an average housewife
Wife of a Farmer
Milking cows, fed livestock, grew herbs and vegetables
Wife of a Merchant
If her husband was away from the store she took care of the business and accounts
In the husband's will he would usually leave the business to his wife Farmer/ Merchant Wife's Jobs Women had no rights and had almost no chance at having an influential position
Women would loose all control of their lives once they got married; if their husband died and they had a son, he would take over the family the wife/ mother would lose all power to her son
Women were not able to voice their opinion and lived in the shadow of men in general
The role of women was very hard in the 16th century England In Conclusion