Women in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization concentrated in what is now the modern country of Egypt and that has fascinated people all around the world with its interesting history and legends. Even though many people think of Cleopatra as the symbol of those times, as she was the last pharaoh of the empire, women did not have the same destiny as she did back then. However, they did not have a hard life, either. Although women were not equal with men, they still enjoyed many rights. In fact, they had more rights that women did in numerous other ancient civilizations. One of those rights was being able to decide whether they wished to get married or not. This means that if a man would have asked a woman to marry him, she had the right of saying no, as she could not be forced into marriage.

Those who did want to get married usually wedded at the early age of 12 to 14. After getting married, women had to behave as good wives and mothers. As to any other culture, children were very important in the ancient civilization of Egypt. This may be hard to believe, but women also had the right of divorce, which was not very common in other ancient cultures. This means that every woman who was unhappy with her marriage could get a divorce. Moreover, she could even remarry someone else after getting divorced or remain single if that is what she wanted. However, a divorce was not given for no reason. Women who wanted to end their marriage needed to present a good reason in the court of law in order to be granted a divorce. If the court of law approved of the divorce, women gained custody of their children, not to mention all of her original dowry (considering that one was brought to the marriage), plus one-third of her man’s fortune.

Women were granted these benefits to be able to raise their children in a comfortable way. Besides her dowry and her husband’s fortune, a woman getting divorced was also entitled to any property she personally owned, including property that had been willed to her during the marriage. Even when men were the ones filing for divorce, women still gained custody of their children and her original dowry. Besides raising the children and running the household, women in Ancient Egypt were also able to get a paid job, run a business, own, buy ans sell property, and make a will. Women in Ancient Egypt did not have a hard life, after all.