What Was It Like to Be a Woman in Ancient Times?

Being a woman in ancient times was vastly different from what it is today. Women were considered inferior to men and their rights were limited.

They were often treated as property, with no say in their own lives. Despite these challenges, women have played significant roles throughout history.

Women in Ancient Egypt

In Ancient Egypt, women had more rights than in many other ancient civilizations. They could own property, run businesses, and even serve as pharaoh.

However, their roles were still limited by societal expectations of gender roles. Women were expected to marry and have children, and their primary role was seen as caretakers of the household.

Women in Ancient Greece

In Ancient Greece, women had very few rights and were often confined to the home. They couldn’t vote or participate in politics and had little access to education. Their primary role was to bear children, raise them, and manage the household.

Women in Ancient Rome

In Ancient Rome, women had more rights than in Greece but still faced limitations. They could own property and run businesses but couldn’t hold political office or vote. Women’s primary role was still seen as caretakers of the household.

The Role of Women in Religion

Religion played a significant role in shaping societal expectations for women’s roles. In many cultures, women were seen as having a closer connection to the spiritual world and were responsible for performing religious rituals within the home.

The Role of Women in Christianity

In Christianity, women played a crucial role but were often relegated to supporting roles within the church hierarchy. They could become nuns or take vows of poverty but couldn’t become priests.

The Role of Women in Islam

In Islam, women have always held important roles within society but have faced cultural limitations that restrict their freedoms. Muslim women have always been able to own property and businesses, but their opportunities for education and political participation have been limited.


Being a woman in ancient times was challenging, and women faced many limitations and restrictions. However, women throughout history have still found ways to make significant contributions to society. From Cleopatra in Ancient Egypt to Joan of Arc in Medieval France, women have overcome obstacles and made their mark on history.