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Humanities-Medieval Women - Essay Example

Women during the era of middle ages were undermined and not accepted to participate in both social and economic activities. Women had certain amount of value in the society, but the bad part was that this value was placed in shape of economic good. They were recognized for two purposes: firstly, they were recognized for bringing up children; secondly, they were used for manual work. Women were paid low amount of wages, and this became the foundation of the standing of the economy of the medieval era. In various situations they used to assist other men in the work of agricultural production. The situation was so bad for the women that they were compensated even less than what children use to be paid for their work. Education was supposed to be crime or non religious activities for women, and the church was against women education not allowing them to participate in tasks that required good amount of education. The only allowed task other than working in the fields of agriculture was taking the role of midwife (Chilton 167). Women were the leading portion of the workforce of the textile industry; they heavily participated in the areas of woolen and silk. Although they enjoyed majority in such jobs, the amount of money they were compensated for their labor was near to zero. Other than working hard in the areas where manual labor was required, women were even the chief contributor of household tasks especially if they were married. Introduction of flour mills decreased the amount of hard work women had to do, and this even saved them ample amount of time and increased the compensation they were paid. Unionization came into existence, and the unions started controlling the skilled labor within the society. This encouraged the wealthy businessmen to pay women compensation in advance, and they started employing them on individual level. The industry that experienced hiring of women in huge numbers was the textile industry (Lawson 120). Those women whose skills were needed and highly desirable started gaining rewards when companies performed well. During the period of Chaucer, the role and status of women started altering, and they started to earn a little bit better compared to what they were previously earning. Thus, their existence started gaining importance. The increase in economic status of the women shook the foundations of the unions, and women started participating in these unions and their voice started gaining representation among unions. It is hard for the researchers to determine the accuracy of the female population of that time. It can be explained by the fact that during the Middle ages women were not a part of the consensus. Other than working as manual laborers, women were considered important for giving birth and children upbringing; a special significance of these issues could be observed in the rural centers. Huge amount of importance was placed on a woman’s child bearing ability because more children meant increase in workers in the agricultural sector; thus, women were considered almost as ‘machines’ that produced babies. One of the most disturbing facts of that era was that women were being married to men on the trial basis in which the individuals whose fertility level was high were married to each other. The point of highest concern was that ...Show more


Women in the Middle Ages The key figures of the period recognized as the Middle Ages were the aristocratic men who headed a lot of money and who gained recognition for their achievements. The society was shaped in such a way so that the poor were becoming poorer and the rich were getting richer, and the poor had little chances to advance in their social status…
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Humanities-Medieval Women
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