Women’s Role in the Home

Throughout time, women have been known for their kindness, strength, intelligence and love. Ancient Egyptians respected the role of women in the home, how they raised children and created stable and safe homes, according to scholar Joshua J. Mark, author of “Women in Ancient Egypt” published on Ancient History Encyclopedia website.

“Love your wife and make her happy as long as you live,” said one of ancient Egypt’s most celebrated thinkers Ptahhotep. Ptahhotep clarified that a women’s happiness would reflect in the atmosphere of the home.

Women in ancient Egypt mainly took care of children and their homes; however, sometimes they would work with their husbands in different professions like agriculture and wine making. Women also had financial rights similar to men.

FILE – Ancient Egyptian Family

FILE – King Amenhotep IV and Queen Nefertari with their children

FILE – Mother taking care of her child

Mother holding her child while baking bread [Photo Courtesy: Al Osrah Ayam El Faraa’na Book by Zahi Hawas]

Women making beer [Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

Women and men harvesting crops 



King Tutankhamen and Queen Ankhesenamun

Women’s Rights in the Ancient Egyptian Society

Women in ancient Egypt participated in different sports and games and they also danced and played music to keep their bodies fit and strong. Such was the equality with which they were treated in their time.

Women had the freedom to choose their husbands, indicating their position in society. Ancient Egyptians did have some restrictions on marriage, members of the royal family were not allowed to marry members of the public, to maintain the purity of the royal bloodline, according to “Al Osra Ayam El Faraa’na” (Family in the Times of the Ancient Egyptians) by prominent Egyptian author and archaeologist Zahi Hawass.

Despite this restriction, a number of marriages between royalty and commoners did occur such as the marriage of King Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye.

The most famous love stories from ancient Egyptian history are those of Isis and Osiris, at the center of Egyptian mythology, and King Tutankhamen and Queen Ankhesenamun.

The love story between King Ramses II and his Queen Nefertari is shown in the decorations and paintings on her amazing tomb.

Painting from Queen Nefertari’s tomb 

Seneb the dwarf and his family 

Isis Goddess 

Religion & Mythology

Ancient Egyptian mythology includes many religious myths dedicated to the female goddess like Ma’at the Goddess of Wisdom and Hathor the Goddess of Beauty, beside the most celebrated goddess in ancient Egyptian history, Isis.

Ancient Egyptians made sacred spaces for women, like the Valley of Queens which consists of a number of amazing tombs for the queens of Egypt, provided with various accessories, clothes, cosmetics, perfumes, and religious texts as companions through the afterlife.

Also, women participated in different religious rituals in temples such as singing and chanting.

Ma’at Goddess 



A number of queens ruled ancient Egypt like Hatshepsut and Cleopatra, and other queens shared the responsibilities of the throne with their husbands.

“The role of the principal or great wife varied with the pharaoh. In the case of Queen Tiye (1398-1338 BCE), the wife of Amenhotep III, she regularly took part in the affairs of state, acted as a diplomat, and even had her name written in a cartouche, like a king,” according to Mark.

“Nefertiti (c. 1370-1336 BCE), the wife of Akhenaten, cared for their family while also helping her husband run the country. When her husband essentially abandoned his duties as pharaoh to concentrate on his new monotheistic religion, Nefertiti assumed his responsibilities,” according to Mark.

Icon of Beauty

Woman in ancient Egypt were iconic beauties and some of the first to wear makeup. Ancient Egyptian women were known for their thickly lined eyelids and red lipstick, still an iconic look today. They also dyed their hair with different natural materials like henna.




FILE – Ancient Egyptian Cosmetics




Ancient Egyptian Eye Makeup