Women's Rights during
The Ottoman Empire



True or false: Regency English women had more freedom than the Muslim Ottoman women. It may surprise you to learn that the answer is false. If you know anything about Sharia law, you understand that women living under this law today, live under strict laws.

In fact, early nineteen-century Ottoman women had more freedom than English women. Ottoman women could own property; English women could not. Ottoman women could earn wages and sell their crops without their husband’s help; English women had limited employment opportunities. They could work in the fields or as a maid, a cook or a governess. They could also earn money in prostitution, but that was the extent of it.

Many British and European women envied the freedoms that Ottoman women had. Some even moved to the Ottoman Empire and converted to Islam so that they could enjoy the freedoms that the Western society denied them.



Site Map