What Roles Did Women Play in Ancient Athens?


Quick Answer

In Ancient Athens, women were not treated equally to men and mostly only served as wives and mothers. Women were treated particularly poorly when it came to marriage, though they could own property under certain circumstances.

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Full Answer

Athenian women were like most women in ancient Greece. They had arranged marriages with no say in who they married. Instead of getting married, they were given in marriage by a male relative.

Women were not allowed to have careers or participate in politics. During the Olympics, they were allowed to have one small separate event to honor the Goddess Hera.

If a woman stopped being a man's wife and had no children with him, she would be allowed to own property and receive an inheritance. However, men kept these trading powers low so that women could not have a high position in Athenian society.

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