Gender Roles Throughout History
Gender roles of diverse cultures have differed immensely throughout history. The evolution of gender roles first began in the Paleolithic Age and then began to transform with the transformation of the Paleolithic Age to the Neolithic Age. Women in Mesopotamia, India, Greece, China, and Rome were not treated as equals and viewed as inferior to men. Cultures like Egypt and Persia had similar laws for women and treated them with more respect out of any of the other cultures.
The Paleolithic Age was responsible for the introductions of many vital aspects of our world today such as, technology, agriculture, and gender roles. The Paleolithic culture was based on a hunter and gatherer society, which had a great influence
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In India, public figures and important positions were given to men. Although women did not have any public authority or receive any formal education, they were still considered to be important to society by having much influence when it came to family life and were supposed to be treated with respect from their family and husband. Sometimes it was difficult for women to take of the household due to their young age. Beginning as a child, women were taught that they were supposed to devote their lives to men. Very young child brides were quite common in India but ceremonies would not take place until the child had gone through puberty. Also, according to the Laws of Manu, women were allowed to inherit property. Women could “influence affairs within their families but enjoyed no public authority” (Meridians, page 98). The Laws of Manu state, “deities delight in places where women are revered, but where women are not revered all rites are fruitless,” (Meridians, pg 78). The Code of Hammurabi does not give a lot of freedom to women. Also, the Code is very strict when it comes to marriage. The Code allowes fathers and brothers to arrange marriages and punishes cheating wives by sentencing them to death. Different from the Code of Hammurabi, the Laws of Manu stresses the importance of husbands revering their wives and keeping them happy (Meridians, P.78).
China was a patriarchal society where men were considered to be the leader of the household. Although women were