What role did women play in the Mongol Empire?  

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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Women had a role of influence in the Mongol Empire as compared to other cultures at the time.  An example of this was that Genghis Khan sought counsel from his mother and his wives at times.  He listened to the opinions of his wives when he was considering who to choose as his successor.  Other men in Mongol society sought advice from their wife or wives.  

In the Mongol Empire, women had more freedom in how they were required to dress.  Foot binding was common in nearby regions, but it was not done in Mongol society.  Women also avoided covering themselves with chādars.  Women also had more freedom to do tasks usually associated with men.  Some women even fought in battles.

In many ways, the Mongol Empire had a traditional society.  A young woman's father gave a dowry to the groom's family when she married.  Arranged marriage was common.  It was also common for a man to have more than one wife.  Each wife had her own dwelling.  Once married, a woman's primary role was to be a wife and mother.  Remarriage for widows was uncommon.