A Comparison of Women's Status in Ancient Greece and Islam

In addition to age, gender is one of the universal dimensions on which status differences are based. Gender is a social construction that specifies socially stereotyped roles that men and women are to follow. Women have always had lower status than men, but the extent of the gap between the sexes changes across cultures and time.

In ancient Greek civilization, the role of women varies obviously from pre-classical times to the classical period. There was a huge social distinction between the women living in this society.

Generally, there were three status levels a woman could evaluate in Ancient Athens; a citizen, a freedwoman and a slave. Citizen women gained their citizenship at birth by being born from parents who were also citizen.

This kind of women generally known as respectable and had to follow specific codes regarding their public and private behavior. Freedwomen consisted of the slaves who had acquired their freedom or foreigners from other countries who had settled in Greece to live.

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Lastly, slaves were mostly foreigners who had been captured from conquered areas or were children of slaves.

In Islam religion, there is no social distinction between women living in society obviously. On the other hand, wealth is an effective component which create social distinction between women.

Greek women had not have a chance to control own right. If they were married, control went to their husband. If they divorced, control and rights went back to their father. The primary duty of respectable women were in charge of houseworks for instance, raising children, making family clothes etc.

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Society limited the women time at outside home.

"Women run households and protect within their homes what has been carried across the sea, and without a woman no home is clean or prosperous. Consider their role in religion, for that, in my opinion, comes first. We women play the most important part, because women prophesy the will of Loxias in the oracles of Phoibos. And at the holy site of Dodona near the Sacred Oak, females convey the will of Zeus to inquirers from Greece. As for the sacred rituals for the fates and the Nameless goddesses [i.e. the Furies], all these would not be holy if performed by men, but prosper in women's hands. In this way women have a rightful share (dike) in the service of the Gods"

Marriage in Islam is based on love and compassion and not the mere satisfying of human sexual desire. In Quran ;

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that are signs for those who reflect. (Qur'an 30:21)

In Islam, for marriage, women has the right to accept or reject marriage proposals. After women were married, the husband is responsible for the maintenance, protection and overall leadership of the family. Another important point is that priority for the custody of young children is given to the mother up to the age of seven. However, There exists a gap between women outlined in the Qur'an and the reality among Muslims.

The role of women in Greece can be studied by reviewing how women are potrayed in art. The role of women in ancient Greek art was to inspire some of the greatest art ever crafted. Many scenes on Greek Pottery depicted women. Many of these women were dancing girls or prostitutes. This shows that men had little respect for this class of women; they are pictured as slaves to mens desires. However, In Islam, usage of woman pattern is forbidden by religious rules.

In Ancient Greek, although there was a democracy, women had very few rights compare to men. In ancient Greece, democracy meant that every citizen could speak and vote on every piece of legislation. However, Greek society had not accept the women as a citizen. As a result, they had no rights to vote or had not a chance to take part in the operation of state. Only male Greek citizens had a chance to vote. Women acquired power only when they became the wife of influental citizen.

In Islam, although there is no hard restriction for women to participate the political system, it is hard to find examples of women who participated in politics or is in any position of leadership.

As a consequence, In Ancient Greece, women were viewed as sexual beings were only necessary to produce children. The Greek writer Euripides in his book Meda claims; If only children could be got some other way without the the female sex! If women didnt exist, human life would be rid of all its miseries. It shows most constant view of women in ancient times. In terms of islamic perspective, There is a huge gap between women outlined in the Qur'an and the reality among Muslims.

Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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A Comparison of Women's Status in Ancient Greece and Islam. (2023, Mar 14). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-comparison-of-women-s-status-in-ancient-greece-and-islam-essay

A Comparison of Women's Status in Ancient Greece and Islam essay
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