[an error occurred while processing this directive] Egyptian Women [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  • Society
  • Egyptian Women

  • Comparison between ancient Egyptian and traditional Muslim Women

    CriteriaEgyptian Women Women in Traditional Muslim society
    ImagesEgyptian women Muslim women
    Social Habits - Simple liberal cloth, nudity was permitted and female servant girls, dancers and acrobats went around totally or semi-nude for their jobs
    - Social partnership in all activities including festivals, religious ceremonies and daily life
    - Very conservative dress, women are required to cover their heads leaving only the face shown as part of an overall strict dress code
    - Complete segregation of all men and women - social interaction prohibited
    Equality - Privileges were not uniform from one class to another, but within the given classes equal rights between genders
    - Hathor was the patron of women, while men had no patron god
    - Allah favored Men over women, the Quran states that "Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because men spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient."
    - Patriarchal society dominated by men
    Polygamy and Divorce - Male polygamy was common in nobility, but unusual in lower classes
    - Women were partners in divorce settlements
    - Male polygamy is widely spread in all social classes
    - Only Men can divorce, Muslim women have no right to divorce husbands.
    Legal rights and Inheritance - women could manage and own private property, including: land, portable goods, servants, slaves and livestock
    - Unlike women in most other ancient civilizations, the Egyptian women seems to have enjoyed the same legal and economic rights as men. They were regarded as totally equal to men as far as the law was concerned, and could conclude any kind of legal settlement in court
    - Inheritance rights were regulated according to each individual Will, both men and women could freely disinherit children and consorts from private property, and selectively bequeath that property to certain people and not to others.
    - Women could own property, but management in the hands of male husbands or custodians
    - Women need a male representative in court, their testimony in in financial matters is worth half that of a men
    - Inheritance rights are regulated by Quran laws. Women receive half the rights of men, and the manipulation of these strict inheritance laws are not permitted
    Sexuality and love - Sexuality and romance were open, and considered to be an important part of life, references to sex and love poems were freely written in literature
    - gods themselves were depicted performing sex such as Geb and Nut
    - Sex is a Taboo - transgressions may lead under law to severe penalties
    - Love viewed as a weakness and bad conduct for unmarried women
    Education and Work - Education was rare - very few noble women had any access to education (the vast majority of men neither had any education)
    Only high ranking royal women were sometimes given a private tutor. Hatshepsut's daughter, Neferura, had a private tutor, Senmut
    - Household, farming, servants, dancers, musicians, acrobats, but had no access to public office jobs
    - Public education was traditionally uncommon, but women were encouraged to learn reading Quran at home
    - Women perform household activities only, and were traditionally not allowed to work in public at all
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