Gender Relations
  • highly patriarchal societies
  • men had more of the important occupations:
  1. heads of societies
  2. government
  3. religion/churches
  4. education
  5. markets
  • women mainly did household work:
  1. chores
  2. weaving
  3. taking care of children and animals
  • some women worked with men as:
  1. bakers
  2. innkeepers
  3. butchers
  4. brewers
  5. candle makers
  6. merchants
  • they also directed some occupations:
  1. textiles and decorative arts (ex.: spinning, sewing, weaving)
  • in Paris in the 1200s, there were about 100 guilds in total, 80 of them contained women, and 6 were exclusively women guilds

  • "the house of Islam"

Gender Relations
  • before the Quran, (the sacred writings of Islam revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad during his life at Mecca and Medina) which was established in 651-652, women were not equal
  • when the Quran was created, it declared that all women are equal under the law. Allah believes that men and women are equal, with neither gender having precedence over the other
  • in Islamic society, basic rules were:
    • infanticide was made illegal
    • women were to be faithful to only one single man
    • men were able to have as many as 4 wives
    • a women's testimony in court was given half the weight of a man's
    • women received half of the inheritance of male children
    • women required to wear a veil in public (hijab)
    external image muslim-women-484.jpg
  • a Muslim women wearing a mandatory veil
  • women's choice of a male is important but not always deliberate because there were arranged marriages
    • the women is the caretaker of the family
  • women often did household work, like in Europe, and were not seen as useless because of the important job of caring for the family
  • duties of motherhood were highly respected and major responsibility
  • men supported wives financially
  • husband and wife combined efforts to teach children:
    • dress
    • diet
    • Allah is the only acceptable belief
    • religious education

Differences between Islam and other societies
  • equality in religion, with no caste system or divisions like the relgions in China and Europe
  • the entire (or vast majority) of the population was literate
  • all children were seen as legitimate, unlike Europe who saw some children as illegitimate
  • veiling was required in public of all women, not just the upper class
  • no foot-binding was practiced
  • Islam monotheistic
  • Islam sees itself as tolerant to other beliefs and even mixed with a variety of beliefs
  • Quran was the main source of religion
external image opened_quran.jpg
The Quran, Holy Book of Islam

  • a Mediterranean trade system was established between many empires throughout the world (Western Europe, the Byzantine Empire, and Islamic Empires)
  • Silk Roads continued
  • better communication and transportation systems:
    • Boats
    • Roads
    • record keeping
    • lines of credit
  • the Islamic world experienced important advancements
    • paper mills
    • universities
    • the astrolabe
    • algebra
    • guns
    • cannons
    • pendulum
    • maps
    • arches and hallways
    • improved diet
    • medical books
    • surgical instruments


  • external image artb.gifThe Tang and Song dynasties tightened patriarchal social structures

  • An effort to enhance family solidarity and preserve family fortunes

  • More elaborate venerations for ancestors

  • Wu Zhao was the only women empress in China

  • Majority of woman never gained power

  • They were considered inferior to men

  • Confucianism justified the subordination of woman.

  • Foot binding became a very wide spread practice especially among the elite women

  • It would deform and sometimes cripple women – some women needed canes

  • The spread and acceptance of new religions impacted the status of women

  • Women’s restriction depended on their class

  • As societies became more urban further restrictions were put on all classes

  • Confucianism led to woman having more access to education

  • Concubines were popular

  • If a women widowed she would stay with the son

Marcos Cepin, Meg Sweeney, and Bailey Goodwin

Hannah Kornfeld, Lila Gavares Everything is great!