1300 – 1699

1300 – Middle Ages – children were quickly absorbed into adult world, apprenticed between ages 7 and 12 to learn a trade\

1350s – Australia -Traditional Maori culture highly respected women

Following the idea that there is balance in the universe, men and women were considered partners in that balance. Women were esteemed for linking the past and the present to the future

In Maori myth women were seen as powerful, the givers of fire and or power for men in battle

The language is gender neutral for personal and possessive pronouns. Men and women are seen as equal.

On marriage women were not seen as transferring identity to the man but could keep their own name.

Women dressed in ways similar to men, conception was seen as uplifting and natural not sinful

Assault on women or children was severely punished often with ostracism.

Divorce easy to obtain and carried no stigma

The home was deemed a part of community and parents have the assistance of many other adults in the care of their children.

1388 – Britain -Statute of  Labourers – men got paid more than women regardless of degree of skill.  Women earned money from home industry to augment farm salaries of married men

1300s – Europe – During the Black Death -one third of those in Europe died, half of all in London died

1381- Britain  – serfs revolted to abolish serfdom but failed.

-men were legally under the authority of men

-the church was the only protector of the poor for few laws protected them

-women could not inherit or participate in government

-marriages were arranged by fathers

-women were often believed to be malicious and prone to evil

-women married in their teens and were given  a dowry

-a man could legally beat his wife, servants or children

-wealthier families had maid servants and nurses for the children

-women in the church had some status – prioress, abbess

-some single women were encouraged to become nuns

-women in poverty tended gardens, raised poultry, did spinning and were sometimes hired out as laborers

-in town women were domestic servants doing what peasant wife did on farm

-women as servants did laundry, dressmaking, midwifery

-due to wars and marrying older men, women were often widowed

-during the Crusades women were often left alone and in charge of house

-the church as the only institution to care for the poor, sick, elderly, widowed or unmarried women and the only protector of the vulnerable

-under English common law the man was the head of the household and could deal with women and children there as chattels, as he chose.

-fathers were considered the owners of the children and mothers had no custody rights

1400s – Peru

Inca women in Peru had roles divided by gender but were seen as vital to the economy.

women bore and tended children to carry on the tribe and were vital workers in weaving and agriculture to produce sellable goods at market. Men were permitted to have many wives, and only the rich could afford large families. A few single beautiful women were supposed to serve lives devoted to service to the gods

1400s – Mexico

 Aztec men and women had clearly divided roles but were considered interdependent.

-men were soldiers and contributors of income. Women  bore and took care of children. They also tended turkeys and raised vegetables for market, and prepared maize flour vital to nutrition

-women could become priests, doctors and were seen as wise sorcerers

-midwives had high social status and advised about pregnancy and assisted during and after labor. Woman giving birth was considered to be akin to a soldier going to battle and was sometimes given a mini shield and spear.

-women who died giving birth were honored in the same way as a soldier who died in battle.

-roles were planned from birth and even at birth the umbilical cord of the male child was buried near a battle field while the umbilical cord of the female child was buried near the hearth. Gifts for the male child were an awl for carpenters a shield for warriors, a blade for feather-makers. Gifts for baby girls were baskets and spindles.

-role equality shifted significantly after Spanish colonialism.

1520 – Germany – Martin Luther said girls should be allowed to go to school

1600s – Britain – little prestige was given to child-rearing. Rich women often used wet nurses to breast-feed their children.

1600- native North American tribes

Native tribes lived in small groups, with men often hunters and fishers and women at the hearth tending the young. However women also were key to gathering materials to build and maintain that lodging. They were seen as essential to the survival of the tribe.

-women were seen as the source of life and as a stabilizer for men’s live         

-women tended the young and sick and elderly

-women helped men hunt buffalo and then were the ones who skinned and cut and cooked it

-women used the materials from the hunted animal or fish carcasses to create clothing and footwear

-women  made tools

-women became knowledgeable along with men in the benefits of herbs and native products and served as medicine women along with medicine men to heal and comfort the sick

-women became expert craftspeople creating blankets, jewellery and pottery for use and for sale

-women were seen in their domestic role as key to the economy.

1628 –  Czechoslovakia – Comenius designed the first illustrated children’s textbook and writes in “School of Infancy” that the child learns in the ‘school of the mother’s knee.” He says that at such a school children by age six know the foundations of all knowledge

1665 – British economist Sir William Petty defined income as annual worth of labor plus wealth (services not just goods)

1680s – France –  boarding schools were set up emphasizing a child’s moral training. Childhood was recognized as a separate stage of life not a small version of adulthood

1693 – England – John Locke writes “Some Thoughts Conserving Education” arguing that natural methods of learning should replace harsh discipline

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