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Some of the different rights that women had, were that they could own
property, borrow money, sign contracts, file for an annulment, and appear in
court as a witness. With those rights, came many responsibilities that the
women were also equally subject to.
Most people assumed that in the ancient world, the man was the head of
the household. This fact varied for different women. There were a lot of strong
woman who disagreed with this, and decided to forget about custom and rule
Women could become pharaoh, but only in very special circumstances. An
example would be Cleopatra VII. Otherwise, women were totally equal to
men, as far as the law goes.
During the day, women stayed home with their daughters, and taught them
housekeeping skills, like cooking and cleaning. Girls were also taught how to
weave, dance, and play music. The boys went to school and learned how to be
scribes. It took the students up to ten years to memorize all the hieroglyphic
signs. They also had lessons in other subjects, such as astrology, astronomy,
practical arts, mathematics, and games and sports. The teachers were very
strict. If a boy was not behaving, he would be whipped or beaten.
Aside from work and learning, women and children had a lot of leisure time.
The children would spend time with their families, and play games, go to
parties and feasts, dance, play with pets, and just relax. Two of the Egyptians
favorite board games, were Snake and Senet.
One very important thing to the Egyptians was fashion. Women and older
children wore light linen clothing made from flax. Young children usually wore
nothing. Boys wore little kilts and sometimes tunic-style shirts. Women and
older girls, wore ankle-length, sheath dresses, that were plain and simple.
Women, both rich and poor, owned a lot of makeup and jewelry. They had
bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, beaded collars, and more. Women mostly
wore black eye charcoal, and eye shadow. Black eye charcoal is like eyeliner.
They used it like eyeliner, but they also put it on their eyebrows.
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different color eye shadows together to get certain colors. Men owned
makeup and jewelry also.
Women and children wore their hair in many different hairstyles. Children
usually had their hair shaved off, but they would leave a lock of it on the side to
represent their noble birth. Women liked to wear their hair short. They often
wore wigs, and headdresses. The hair was braided, pulled back, or worn in
As you can see, life for women and children in Ancient Egypt was hard work,
but also very fun. Joy and happiness were Egyptians main goals in life, and
family was the center of their lives.