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Word Count: 891
Gender relations in Arabia changed throughout three main time periods distinctions began during early Bedouin pre-Islamic societies and extended through later Islamic societies varying with class divisions and urban versus rural societies Women went from a high to a notably decreased status as time progressed Bedouin pre-Islamic society consisted of tribes and clans with people of each gender contributing to the social and economic aspects It is evident that women in Arabian bedouin culture enjoyed greater freedom and a higher status than those in other neighboring civilizations Women played key economic roles namely weaving cloth and raising children to say the least Many tribes were matrilineal due to the fact that the men of the nomadic tribes were often on the move As stability within towns increased though descent was traced through the males more often Position of women varied with class Upper class women had economic positions more or less while lower class women had virtually no rights Sometimes men and women alike were allowed multiple marriage partners The man was required to pay a bride price to his fiancs family preceding the marriage Women in Arabia were not secluded demonstrated by the fact that they were not forced to wear veils Their advice was highly regarded and they had certain career options such as poetry writing Although treated well women were not in any way equal to men Their status actually varied between clans due to customized ways and means Most practices favored men such as property control divorce and inheritance to name a few Women like Khadijah show the other side to this Her position as a wealthy widow in charge of a trading enterprise shows that women were able to remarry and to own and inherit property Furthermore she exhibits how women could pursue careers on top of everything else In urban environments as opposed to rural the rise of the mercantile elite seems to have set back the position of
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