Greek women gradually attained equality before the law over the course of the 20th century. Traditional gender roles have changed, but old habits die hard and feminists still have to speak out against everyday discrimination and advocate for lasting reforms. Margarita Tsomou, editor of the German pop-feminist Missy Magazine, recaps past achievements and present-day conflicts. Then in , after seven years of military dictatorship, the principle of equality between men and women was enshrined in the Greek constitution. The s saw the passage of abortion legislation that still ranks among the most liberal in Europe. So there is a relatively solid legal foundation for gender equality in Greece, but that has not rendered feminist engagement obsolete: especially lately, a growing number of feminist initiatives and LGBTQI groups are chipping away at sexist gender models and patriarchal structures in Greek society.
Sex And Marriage In Ancient Greece
Ancient Greek Women in Athens
Check it out at www. In Athens, marriage was viewed as a tool for ensuring a legal heir. This was especially true for the period of Pericles since, according to the laws of the famous statesman, only those whose mother and father were both from Athens could be citizens of the polis. As a result, a wife's only job was to ensure the continuity of the lineage. And since, due to their upbringing, they were completely uncultured, conversations between spouses were also very rare.
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Women in the ancient Greek world had few rights in comparison to male citizens. This, though, is a general description, and when considering the role of women in ancient Greece one should remember that information regarding specific city -states is often lacking, is almost always from male authors, and only in Athens can their status and role be described in any great detail. Neither are we sure of the practical and everyday application of the rules and laws that have survived from antiquity.
The institution of marriage in ancient Greece encouraged responsibility in personal relationships. Marriages were usually arranged by the parents; professional matchmakers were reluctantly used. Each city was politically independent, with its own laws affecting marriage. Orphaned daughters were left to uncles or cousins. For the marriage to be legal, the woman's father or guardian gave permission to a suitable male who could afford to marry.