The Importance of Peasant Women in Medieval Society
During the Medieval period, peasant women played many important roles. They performed a multitude of tasks every day and faced daunting challenges and pressures throughout their lives as they struggled to gain a place in their society. The roles of these women can easily be seen in a closer look at their entire lives, both in and out of the home.
To begin, medieval peasant women executed many important duties in their households. For example, almost all chores were completed by the women. On any given day, female peasants might have sheared their sheep, spun the wool into string, woven the string into a peace of cloth, and sewed that piece of cloth into a new garment for herself or one of her family members. Still, their list of responsibilities continues. They had to do the wash, cook and clean, care for both the children and animals, tend to the garden, keep a fire, and occasionally hunt for food. Yet the women were not recognized for their efforts. They were considered to be inferior to their husbands and often appeared to be servants to them. A slight honor of managing the house or estate was only bestowed upon the women when their husbands would leave for long periods of time. The final aspect of the women’s home life was in their care for and upbringing of children. The women usually bore many children, which were seen as an economic resource to the family. (http://www.integrity.com/homes/kernan/willkernan/essays/women.htm). The mothers’ role was to teach her children how to perform tasks and punish them for wrongdoings. Additionally, the mothers educated their children in religion and the alphabet. In short, the peasant women were vital aspects of their medieval households.
Equally important to the peasant woman’s in-house roles were those that she played outside of the house. For instance, many of these peasants were skilled enough to be employed ...