Women and judaism: diverse realities between the 19th and 20th centuries
Roa Ortega, Silvia
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Traditional Jewish communities can be described as androcentric: males have occupied a central position and they have been the ones to decide women’s place in society. The women archetype in traditional Judaism describes females as recruited, silent and obedient agents whose main aspirations is to become a mother and a housekeeper. Despite the patriarchal conception of women’s roles and gender relations, these conceptions were reinterpreted in each period and place in which Jews lived. The present work aims to approach Jewish women’s diverse realities between the 19th and 20th centuries. Different historical contexts -from the assimilation of the Jewish minority to the larger society in Western Europe and America to the attempt of establishing a Jewish society in Palestine and the later State of Israel- led to different realities. In each one, gender roles and gender relationships will be analysed. Different models of Jewish females will be presented, however, despite the differences, what all have in common is discrimination based on a gender basis. Jewish women, aware of their subordinated position, have tried to find and fight for their place in society and the recognition as equal members.