Inancient Rome and Greek, the primary role of women was to become wivesand bear children. Women were denied the right to vote or vie for anyrole in the society. This is because their public role was limited.It was also prohibited for women to choose for themselves husbandssince this was to be carried out by their families. The girl wasexpected to be virgin by the time of their marriage. However, womenstill had the freedom to maintain legal relationship with theirfathers even after marriage.
Inreligion women were known for their ability to study and observe therituals of Rome. Hence they were allowed to occupy vestals religiousoffices. The Greek social ethics did not permit women to do businessor own any kind of shop. Even though, there was important role ofwomen in funerals where they were permitted to perform funeralrelated rituals. They could also act as spectators in publiclyperformed sacrifices.
Accordingto Aristophanes’ Lysistrata literature on gender roles, women weregreatly un-favored when it came to gender role equality. This wasevident through general lack of power socially, economically andpolitically. They were always expected to stay at home and take careof children. Hence her autonomy was generally diminished.
Withthe emergence of urban centers, most women began to move to urbanareas. As a result, they became enlightened and started participatingin the establishment of a new society free of the earlierconstraints. To show their readiness for a life that seemed new, theybecame part of the new Christian movement that helped in speeding upthe change to new roles of a woman.