Ancient Egypt: Cradle of Gender Equality

Lecture by Cynthia L. Smith, Belevue College

  • 7:00 p.m.Northwest
  • University of WashingtonSmith Hall
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Unlike most other ancient societies, Egyptian women achieved parity with Egyptian men. The disparities between people’s legal and economic rights were based on differences in social class not gender. The wife, mother or daughter of a king or prominent official could wield considerable influence. On rare occasions a woman might even assume the full mantle of royal power and rule as king. In this lecture the archaeological record and art will demonstrate how ancient Egyptian women were depicted in literary compositions; in property and contract law; in public and private life; and in religion and mythology. 


Cynthia L. Smith received her BS at UCLA, her MBA at Pepperdine University, and her MA in Egyptian Archaeology at University College London. She has participated in Native American archaeology excavations at various sites in southern California. Cynthia has taught and is a guest lecturer in Egyptian History and Archaeology at Bellevue College. She teaches a series called Egyptian Voices from the Past at Bellevue College Extension.