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It is still the situation in some parts of the world especially in Muslim communities. The culture was mainly based on the community’s religious beliefs. It was the case in most parts of Europe. Comparing the position of women in the current society and their position before the late 18th century, it is clear that there has been a significant evolution in this matter.
France was at the center of this development when it began in the 1780s. From part 8 of the documentary Marie Antoinette, The economic troubles due to wars and poor harvest results in a revolution. It marks the start of a change in the position of women in society, in France and Europe as a whole (6:23).
Before the French revolution, the women in France like most parts of Europe were not considered of equal status as men. Women were considered second-class citizens and so were not allowed to take part in certain activities such as leadership and governance, voting and some professions that were considered men’s work. Some activities were marked out as men’s activities and women were meant to stay at home, bear children and raise them. In the documentary Marie Antoinette, after the marriage of the princess Marie Antoinette of Austria to Prince Louise of France, it was the duty of the princes to produce children for her husband. From the movie of The Return of Martin Guerre Mr. Martin Guerre narrates about a community in Brazil where women went to war and made all the major decisions in their society. Mr. Pierre Guerre, an uncle to Martin Guerre replies by saying, “On the day when women go to war and become rulers of France that would be considered the end of the world." It gives a picture of the position of women in the French society in the 17th century (42:56).
In the middle ages, the situation of women in society was dictated by the Christian doctrine. Most parts of Europe were dominated by the Catholic Church, and the Christian culture was meant to uphold morality.
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