Status of Women Illustration

Status of Women
in Ancient Rome


In Ancient Rome, only adult free men could be citizens.  Women, children, and slaves could not become citizens of Rome.  In ancient Rome, all women were under an adult male guardian.  That guardian was the oldest male in the household be it a father, husband, uncle, or even oldest male child.

Women were the center of the household.  The wife of the guardian was responsible for taking care of the home and family.  The wife of the guardian was also responsible for teaching all the younger women how to cook, sew, be good wives and run a household.

Things changed after Rome became an empire.  Women gained considerable power and some freedoms.  Women gained the right to conduct business.  They could own land, free slaves and even get a paid job.  While they were still considered under the guardianship of a father or husband, they had many more rights than previously.

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