4 Incredible Things You Didn’t Know About Ancient Egyptian Women


Women’s right has been an important issue for a couple of decades, and it still is, but what if I tell you there was an ancient civilization where women had more rights than in some modern countries?

The Ancient Egyptians were quite tolerant regarding women, many of their gods were female, and the divine femininity was really appreciated by the Egyptians, perhaps that’s why.

Let’s find out what made them so special.


1. Women in Ancient Egypt Versus Women in the Rest of the Ancient World

It was common sense for the Ancient World to treat women like sh*t.

In Greece, the Roman Empire and the rest of the world, women were kind of considered not able to act alone and basically needed permission for everything by their husband or father.

Because it was impossible for women to get high-end positions in the countries’ governments — change in their rights and treatment wasn’t going to happen.

They didn’t even have any legal positions, so they were basically less-ranked than women in Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and probably in more parts of the Ancient World.

In Ancient Egypt, things were a lot different compared to the rest of the world — they actually had decent rights.


2. Women Were Able To Have Important Positions in the Ancient Egypt

Let me clarify this one, women had important positions, compared to women in the rest of the Ancient World.

That doesn’t mean they were secretaries and other high ranked jobs, but they were eligible to.

Egypt even had female Pharaohs. According to this Wikipedia list, there were 19. That’s more female leaders than one country in the Western World has ever had.

The most famous one was Hatshepsut, the second one. But who was the first?

Statue of Hatshepsut | Wikipedia — Public Domain

The first female Pharaoh was Sobekneferu, a leader in the Twelfth dynasty, a time in which the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt was in decline — so it wasn’t the easiest period to be a leader.

Bust of Sobekneferu | Wikipedia — Public Domain

3. Women Could Start Their Own Business and Own Things on Their Own

Although it was usual for women to stay at home and take care of the household, husband and the kinds — they were legally allowed to have their own business, get their own job and own their own land or items.

Some women got their own slaves that they used to keep house tidy, but in the end, the male population still was the head of the family.

The men demanded the women to take care of the house, if that could be done besides a job they were allowed to have, no problem.

At least a lot better than the rest of the world.

In the Ancient Roman Empire, women barely could leave the house to go for a walk, they really were forced to obey their husband(s) or father.


4. Women Could Easily Divorce

If a woman wanted to divorce her husband, she could (yay).

Without any explanation, she could file a divorce, and then they were able to split up — but I believe that they had to take care of the children if there were any.

Nowadays, that’s a lot harder.

Besides the divorces, women were treated equally to men in court — so they were punished the same punishment as men.


Wrapping Things Up

When we’re looking at the evolution that women’s right has had over the past couple of centuries, we must admit that it has developed really well — but women’s rights in Egypt nowadays?

Not so much.

Worldwide, Egypt now ranks 108th on the ranking of Inequality. The ideas of the Ancient Egyptians have really faded away.

Unfortunately.

Originally Published on Medium by me (Bryan Dijkhuizen)

Sources & References

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