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Jacobean Women

The life of the Jacobean women was almost similar to the lifestyle lead by women in England for centuries. The main task or job that the women were required to do was taking care of the house. Although over a period of time, women got opportunities to work outside the house or get higher education, but more or less, women were confined to looking after the house.

Role of women in Jacobean era

Women were considered to be subordinate to men. They had little or no rights at all. They could not even own a property in their name. A woman was supposed to obey her husband and help him in earning money for the survival of the family.

Jacobean Women

Portrait of an Unidentified Lady, c.1620 : Royal Collection Trust

Another important responsibility which Jacobean era women carried out apart from managing the house was that of raising the children. Thus a woman was not only a wife, but even a mother, and she worked very hard throughout the day. On an average, the day of the women began early in the morning and ended late at night.

Skills learnt

The training for later life often began at a very young age. Girls were also giving education along with their brothers. However, for many, education meant only being able to read and write. The real education that they were supposed to master was the art of maintaining the house.

Young girls were taught by their mothers activities like sewing, cooking, how to take care of the household responsibilities, etc. Thus, by the time they reached marriageable age, girls were perfectly groomed to be the best house care-takers. Even in the matters like that of marriage, girls had no say. Their marriage was arranged by the parents and they had to marry the guy chosen by the parents. During the Jacobean era, there was a little bit of exposure for women in respect of job opportunity.

Many of the plays, including that of Shakespeare, had women playing crucial roles. This was a big change in the lives of women as earlier; the role of a woman was played by a man. Thus, although there was a improvement in the condition of Jacobean period women, but by and large most of them were still completely dependent on their male counterparts.

More Info On- Jacobean Society, Religion, Jacobean Gender Roles

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