The Responsibilities of Women in Islamic and Roman Societies

Topics: Marriage, Family, Roman Empire Pages: 2 (829 words) Published: March 10, 2006
To each society, there is its own set of rules. Many of these rules separate the women from the men or the children from the adults by creating certain duties for each individual. There are many comparisons between the women of Islamic and Roman societies. The roles that are given to these two groups of women show what is expected of them as a wife, the mother of the family, and where they stand politically. Islamic women are allowed to make decisions on their own when it comes to marriage. According to Islamic Law, a woman is granted the right to choose her husband and cannot be forced to marry anyone without their consent.(Braswell, p.155) As a wife, she must stand behind her husband at all times. If her husband does not approve of something, she must follow her husband's decision. Muslim women could own property and retain it in marriage. They could remarry if their husbands divorced them, and they received a cash payment upon divorce. Although a man could divorce his wife without stating a cause, a woman could initiate divorce under specified conditions. (Bulliet, Crossley, Headrick, Hirsch, Johnson, and David, pgs. 245 and 248.) In Rome, marriages are arranged for women when they are girls, and implemented when they become teenagers. According to Roman law, a woman's guardian would be a man. She started out under the absolute authority of her father or grandfather, and when married the control was transferred to her husband. (Lewis, J. , p. 25) A Roman wife was generally understood as her husband's companion and helper. She was next to him at banquets and parties and shared his authority over the children, slaves, and household.

The customary job given to Islamic women is based around caring for their family and home. Women are to maintain the house while the men trade and hunt.( Braswell, p.155) Men and women are generally given separate educations, because they have different tasks. Part of the wife's responsibility is to tend...
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