Under the common law of England, an unmarried woman could own property, make a contract, or sue and be sued. But a married woman, defined as being one with her husband, gave up her name, and virtually all her property came under her husband's control.
During the Renaissance women lost even more of what little economic power they had, because men increasingly went out of the home to work in all-male professions, thus separating home and work, leaving women behind, working unpaid in the home.
Once married, a wife was trapped in total obedience and subservience to her husband.
You can't wear that, woman! It is a disgrace!
Although these developments have freed women for roles other than motherhood, the cultural pressure for women to become wives and mothers still prevents many talented women from finishing college or pursuing careers.
Although an increasing number of women are either the sole breadwinner for their family or share the role with their partners, women in the United States are paid only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.
Each year, 4.7 million American women experience physical violence by an intimate partner.
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