The roles of women in the past
1. housewife, wife and mother
Yes, your great-grandmothers and grandmothers might still know it: “You are supposed to play with dolls and help in the household. Get used to being a housewife and mother.” Yes, from a very early age, girls were prepared for their future roles. The role of the woman back then: Marry, have children, period. And that was it. Other interests? They were suppressed. The maximum a woman could be trusted to do: Painting, needlework, and activities useful in the home.
2. Education and career
In many cultures women used to receive less education. They would never be able to use it anyway, as they were only supposed to sit at home. Even if a woman received a good education, that was usually the end of the story. She “had to” marry and then give herself up to her role as a housewife. The right to pursue a career and to be taken seriously was usually reserved for men. If a woman did have to work, this was often a sign that the man could not provide for the family sufficiently. No surprise, therefore, that until 1958 men could decide whether their wives were allowed to go to work.