The roles of women in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were alike because they were both expected to take care of the household and both had a low status compared to men. They were different, however, because women in Egypt had greater opportunities than women in Mesopotamia. Both women in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were expected to take care of the household. Since agriculture depended on heavy plows, men were responsible for the work on the fields since they were stronger. This left the women at home to take care of the household. Women were also getting pregnant more often which made them even busier with caring for their children. Also, women in both ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were expected to prepare the food, clean the house, educate their children, and weave the clothing. All of their jobs were attuned with their roles as mothers. As children, most girls were trained to be a wife and a mother. Women in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were depended on to take care of the household and care for their children. Women in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia had a much lower status than men. Since men were not needed as much in the household, they were able to get significant and authoritative roles in society. These positions allowed the men to change their practices and values to benefit themselves and not the women. Women were more depended upon in the household and were not able to attain positions such as these. Women were also not able to join the army, and the first slaves were female prisoners of war. In Hammurabi’s Code, there were many written laws that generated gender inequality in Mesopotamia. One of his laws stated that women never had their own identity but were only identified by their father. Fathers had strict control over their daughters and chose their futures. They were also allowed to sell off their daughters to marriage. Both women from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were considered inferior and were not respected as highly as men.
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