The Role of Women
The roles for women in both Sparta and Athens had similarities and difference, but Sparta’s women had more rights than women in Athens. Women in Athens had little to no rights; they could not own land, vote, and their primary role were to be the housekeepers. If a women’s spouse passed away she could not keep the land, unless she married someone else before they took the land away. Women in Athens were not allowed to partake in decisions concerning the government in Athens or enter into any contracts. They were only expected to be housekeepers, they would clean the house, take care of children, cook, and anything else that they would do at a house. They would also only ever go out of the house for funerals, festivals, and religious cults. She was not to be seen in public or even inside the house if her husband invited guests over. If he did invite guests she would have to go into the women’s quarters. She would also have to listen to whatever her husband says. In Contrast Women in Sparta had more rights than Athens. For example in Sparta, women could own land and participate in athletic events just like the men in Sparta. In fact, women more than one third of the land in Sparta and daughters were allowed to inherit it just like sons. Women in Sparta were also given an education in both arts and athletics. They were also encouraged to develop their intellect. Since the men of Sparta were rarely ever home and spent most of their time in the military barracks; the women were free to be in charge of almost everything that did not involve the army. Unlike Athenian women, Sparta women wore short dresses and could leave the house whenever they wanted to. All in all, Spartan women had more freedom and rights and lived an all around better life then the women from Athens.
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