Women’s Rights in Athens
The history of women’s rights in Athens is a complicated one because its mainly tragic but against all odds they somehow managed to rise above it and create a respectable status in the society. The knowledge of Athenian women rights in ancient Greece was oratory and was shared by the women themselves before they died meaning there’s no surviving testimony.
Although the information about it is scarce, evidence pointing to it has been found and things like pottery can prove the accounts recorded. In ancient Greece, it was believed that a woman’s obligation was to bear children and take care of the household. They had limited legal rights and this made it particularly tragic for young girls because they would be married of at a very tender age to older men.
Athenian women were barred from speaking to any man if they weren’t related, they were also not allowed to participate in politics or allowed to represent themselves in a court of law, but a metic woman could. Metic women were women living in Greece but they didn’t have citizenship.
Before marriage, women had male guardians either their fathers or a male relative, girls were married of as early as 14 years in a system that ensured they were still virgin at the time. They were not allowed to have property and the only way to acquire it was either through dowry of being gifted. Life for Athenian women has dramatically changed in the past decade which was mainly influenced by participation of women in the Greek war for independence which saw women fight and sacrifice just as much as men did.
This brought on a wave of revolution and they were allowed in the Athens bar association and in 1985 women were allowed to become judges. Family laws were passed which were focused on gender equality and provided favorable laws for marriages.
Greeks family dynamics have remained conservative and it’s the only country in the European union with the lowest number of illegitimate children. Gender inequality isn’t allowed in Athens in this day and age because women hold a respectable status in the society.