Ottoman, Safavid, & Mughal Empires Women’s status
There are some examples of the ways that women had some protections. Islamic Law protected women’s rights (in theory ). . . of inheritance for decent treatment by spouses to divorce in “intolerable” marital situations
Some women held positions of power The wives and concubines of the ruling class often had considerable power. Hurrem Sultan (Roxelane)
Merchant and peasant women were active in trading and moneylending Akbar of the Mughal Empire made several reforms to give women more freedom (for a while) Outlawed sati, child brides, and he allowed remarriage of widows.
Evidence that WOMEN’s STATUS DECLINED: Some practices that became standard: Seclusion ( Harem in Ottoman Empire or Anderun in Persia)
Sati (Mughal) Prohibitions on remarriage (Mughal) Child brides High dowries paid by families of the bride to the groom
Other Examples . . . Polygamy as it was practiced forced women to compete within their own home for status “ if we are to look for a hell upon earth, it is where polygamy exists” Harriet Montineau Women were not allowed in religious leadership (or at times allowed in religious ceremonies)
Comparatively: Was the status of women in the Ottoman, Safavid, or Mughal Empires different? Women’s status in the Ottoman Empire was probably better than the status of women in Safavid Persia or the Mughal Empire. Women’s status in the Mughal Empire declined in part because of Hindu influences.
Comparatively: Was the status of women in the Ottoman, Safavid, or Mughal Empires different than other civilizations? Women in Tang, Song, and Ming China probably had less status than in Mughal India. (?) Women’s status in Europe improved during this period (and often shocked outsiders).