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The Role Of Women In Renaissance Period


The Renaissance was a period from the 14th to 17th century in Europe, which is defined as the time of the revival of the arts. The Renaissance started in Italy, which was the hub of this revolution between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, between Europe and Eurasia. In this period, different art forms, such as sculptors, paintings, and architecture, took a new turn and defined new concepts in the field of art. The period began in the fourteenth century from the hub of revolution, Italy, and slowly progressed to all parts of Europe till the fifteenth century. The aim of this revolution was to follow the culture that was part of ancient Greek and Roman History. These new concepts of wisdom and art were initially directed towards men, and women were excluded from equal involvement in the revolution. It was the time when women were distributed in the upper and lower classes, of which the upper class was able to take part in the activities, but the lower class was extremely suppressed and was meant to give birth to the children and serve the men as servants. This revolution resulted in the empowerment of women who were suppressed in every field of life until then. This paper is focused on the role of women in the renaissance period and how they handled their families, jobs and daily life during this time, it will also compare the renaissance women with the women of Middle age. The role of women in the Renaissance period and their service in society became the reason for women’s empowerment, which was not possible in the Middle Ages.


Women were initially not an active part of the revolution, and their social and economic status became a hindrance to their involvement. Until the sixteenth century, women were not an active part of the revolution, and their growth in new forms of art was suppressed by the strong power of a male-dominated society. We will further describe their roles in the period as mothers, working women and as an active part of society.

Women in the Renaissance held a high virtue about their family and their obligations. Women in the Renaissance were forced to look after the children and household and were suppressed by the males (Herlihy, David, 1995). They still managed to improve their way of life by presenting their daily obligations as part of their obligations. The disease outbreak of the 15th century killed many of the people of the region and there was a need for someone to take the job roles that were necessary at that time, women started participating by performing in these jobs but they were suppressed by men. (Mitchell, Linda, 2012). In order to support families, many women took jobs as nurses and in Florentine shops.

The noble and lower-class women provided their services by taking jobs as wet nurses and in Florentine shops. Although they had their own families and own children, their service in jobs never changed their preference, and they actively participated in their household work. Their high virtue in participating in society motivated them to work as silk spinners, housemaids and in bakery shops when they knew these jobs should be done by men, but they had to empower themselves and their families, so they resisted every movement made against them. (Ward, Jennifer, 2016).

The noble women expected their political rights from the government (Tomas, Natalie, 2017). They demanded their rights as respectable members of society and asked for opportunities to be provided jobs. They demanded their rights in selecting their life partner, which was a dilemma in the Renaissance period, and women were sold for dowry and to settle personal conflicts (Kirshner, Julius, 2015).

Women’s role in the Renaissance became the reason for women’s empowerment. In the Middle Ages, women had no rights, and their roles were limited to housing premises for their husbands and families. There was no framework for women’s teaching, and they were kept ignorant on purpose (Beilin, Elaine V, 2014). There were concepts from the Bible that women are a reason for human mistakes and have no right to participate in society or social politics. After the Renaissance, women stood up against male superiority in society. They started participating in social jobs, politics, and education (Tomas, Natalie, 2017). They asked for respectable positions in society, and their efforts were fruitful when the government started giving them job opportunities and political positions.


The women in the Renaissance made huge efforts for their equal rights. They were suppressed in all job roles of society and were kept ignorant on purpose. After the Renaissance, women started to understand their place in society and started fighting for it. They started taking part in various jobs and learned the value of education. While they fought for the equal rights as men they never forgot their obligations and need in their family, they continued to serve their families and people depending on them and side by side worked in various jobs as servants, nurses and as silk workers.

Works Cited

Beilin, Elaine V. Redeeming Eve: women writers of the English Renaissance. Princeton University Press, 2014.

Herlihy, David. Women, family, and society in medieval Europe: historical essays, 1978-1991. Berghahn Books, 1995.

Kirshner, Julius. Marriage, dowry, and citizenship in late medieval and Renaissance Italy. Vol. 2. University of Toronto Press, 2015.

Mitchell, Linda E., ed. Women in Medieval Western European Culture. Routledge, 2012.

Shuger, Debora K. Sacred rhetoric: The Christian grand style in the English Renaissance. Princeton University Press, 2014.

Tomas, Natalie R. The Medici women: gender and power in Renaissance Florence. Taylor & Francis, 2017.

Tomas, Natalie R. The Medici women: gender and power in Renaissance Florence. Taylor & Francis, 2017.

Ward, Jennifer. Women in medieval Europe: 1200-1500. Routledge, 2016.



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