Running head: Women’s History
The History of Women’s History from Prehistory to Present
Leslie Ruff October 27, 2012
The History of Women from prehistory to present
The lives of women’s roles and statuses have changed and varied throughout earlier world history eras, and cultural areas. Women since the beginning of time have always wanted better lives. Women wanted to have the same rights, political, economic, and social statuses as did the men. To strive for those rights women formed political groups called feminist movements, which also helped with religious and charitable activities (Giele, 2012). Women’s movements from the beginning of history have worked very hard within societies to achieve a greater social, economic, and political involvement for women (Giele, 2012). Even though men were stronger than women, and more educated women from prehistory to 1500 CE to the present have been viewed as less than a man. One may believe women are and was a very important key factor in societies from the beginning of time. To the present without women many cultures would not have evolved. Women were the background in each and every aspect of life’s developments. In Prehistory Paleolithic people survived by hunting wild animal and gathering wild fruits, nuts, and melons (Mahdavi, 2012) Paleolithic women used tools such as sticks and carrying bags to harvest and transport the foods they eat. Food such as edible roots and tubers, as well as bugs, termites, caterpillars, and lotus was collected as a source of calories needed for daily nutrition needed. Women contributed more calories to the general diet then did the men (Mahdavi, 2012). Everyone who lived in the Paleolithic era had a set system as far as gathering food is concerned. Paleolithic people shared the basis strategy of foraging hunting and gathering food and other supplies (Mahdavi, 2012). Paleolithic people lived in small family sizes groups and were primarily mobile people. Hunter-Gatherers had to migrate from places where they would be able to find food, so they did not keep many processions and had homes that were easy to assemble. Gender role within the Paleolithic society consisted of men who were generally the hunters and women who were generally the gatherers. There was no hierarchy system within the Paleolithic society because the women held high levels of importance. Women held statuses of high importance because women were the child bearers, and perhaps also healers (Mahdavi, 2012). It is thought that the social statuses of women within the community were equal to that of men in early historical populations (Mahdavi, 2012). After the ice ages and the migration of humans a new era of society was developed called the Neolithic era. Along with the Neolithic era came the advancement and development of social classes among society. Neolithic era brought forth a new way of life and a means for survival. Agriculture change lives in many ways. The former mobile people of societies became more stationary and had better structure. Along with the newly developed structure came more responsibility. Women were no longer just gatherers they were expected to work just as hard as the men when it came to farming, tending animals, and the collection of goods. With the growth of agriculture came the ownership and control of property and land. Gender roles changed just as fast as agriculture developed. Men was and still to this day considered to be physically stronger than a women, so things such as using a plow was left up to the man to do (Mahdavi, 2012). Taking care of domesticated animals was primarily a job for men but at times women also helped. Varying from society to society women shifted from gathering and cultivating crops, to childbearing and organizing domestic consumption (Mahdavi, 2012). Neolithic era began in...
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