Evolution Of Women’s Roles From The 1500’s To Today

1038 words - 5 pages

Women have always played a role in society, but the real question at hand is how has the role of women been modified since Shakespeare’s time to today. “Men’s role in society was valued much more than woman's role” (Writework 01). Women weren’t as appreciated and thought to be needed in society during Shakespeare’s time. They took care of basic home needs and kids, while the men did everything else that would be classified as ‘more important.’ Women now have evolved and are much more of a necessity and an importance in day to day life. There are several ways that women’s roles have evolved, three specific examples will be given: the importance or unimportance of the role of women in ...view middle of the document...

Before the 19th Century, young females lived under the economic and disciplinary authority of their fathers. An example of this concept would be in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Throughout the whole play it is made obvious that Juliet is ruled by what her father says and wants for her, until she breaks away from his control and decides to take matters into her own hands. This idea didn’t change until women were married and were put under the control of their husbands. In order to be sure they got an acceptable marriage, a woman needed to bring along a hefty dowry. In the wealthier families, daughters received their dowry from their families, while the poorer women needed to work in order to save their wages to improve their chances of a successful marriage in their future. “Law stated that women had property rights over their dowries and inheritances” (History of Women 01). Before 1789, the majority of women lived confined to the home. Changes came in the 19th and 20th centuries; for example, the right to equal pay for women was made law. During periods of war, women were sent to work and do jobs that had been traditionally restricted to men. Following the wars, most all women lost their jobs and had to return to fill their home roles. “The history of women in the late 19th-century and early 20th-century did not fully develop until the 1980’s” (History of Women 01).
Women in the 1500’s and early 1600’s were not nearly as free, in a sense, as the women in today’s society. Currently women are much more dominant in some situations. When it comes to women working outside of the home and taking on more roles that were originally intended for men, things have really evolved. Women now are often breadwinners in some families, some are the only ones that work in a household, and some households have...

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