How was the role of women in Mongol society different from the sedentary societies around them?
The role of women in Mongol society was more expansive than it was in the sedentary societies of, for example, China.
In Mongol society, women were treated much more equally than they were in Chinese society. The Chinese, when first conquered by the Mongols, were scandalized by how freely women behaved in Mongol society. The absence of Mongol men, who would go on campaigns for long periods of time, also allowed Mongol women to have a larger role in their society. It is said that women essentially ruled the Mongols at times since so many of the leaders were away fighting.