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This paper explores the effect of pregnancy on women’s access to power in ancient Greece and Egypt. It argues that the politico-economic institutions dictated the extent of a non-pregnant woman’s power in these societies, and because of this, non-pregnant women in ancient Egypt were afforded more civil freedoms than those in Greece. However, in regards to determining the power of pregnant women, sociocultural influences, such as religion, played a much bigger role. Due to the Western, female-centric view of fertility in Greece, pregnant women were allocated significantly more ideological power than usual, which is evident in their ability to actively participate in their healthcare. On the other hand, the association of men with birth resulted in pregnant Egyptian women losing their preexisting political, economic, and sexual freedoms. Through the comparison of these two nations, it can be determined that the influence of pregnancy depends entirely on cultural infrastructure of a country.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • The Burden of a Child

  • Journal title
    • International Social Science Review

  • Volume
    • 96

  • Issue
    • 4

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Sara Divija Varadharajulu is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) studying Physiological Sciences (BS) with a minor in Latin.