Amish Women

Most religions are patriarchal, in Amish religion and society the roles of men and women are very strictly defined by gender. The family unit is totally dominated by the will of the husband who will have the final say in both spiritual matters and social matters that concern the family and the Amish society in which they live.

Amish women and work. As the Amish are generally isolated from the rest of society, they do not have access to any of the technology that non-Amish women have. This means that they do not have access to phones, either land lines or cell phones. They do not have access to computers or any other electronic communication devices, so not only do they not have access to social media, they do not have access to a lot of educational and scientific advancements that the rest of society takes for granted. This lack of communication with the outside world means that very few (around 3%) Amish women have jobs outside of the home or outside of the Amish community.

As the Amish society is generally agricultural, the main role of the women is to produce and raise many children that will help sustain the farm in the absence of the technology that farmers outside of the Amish community heavily rely on. The role of the Amish woman is to make sure that the family are fed, dressed and are raised to fill a specific role within the community.

To an outsider, it may seem that the Amish woman needs to be guided by their feminist sister, but generally the Amish woman may not agree with this. They have been bought up to accept very literal interpretation of the bible, and are acceptant of the submissive role that is part of the doctrine of their religion. However the submissive role in a patriarchal society does not mean that Amish women are seen as the less respected or valued gender, in fact their role in the Amish society is highly respected. Many outsiders who feel that Amish women need freedom may not have actually experienced such respect in their own society.

Also take into consideration that way that Amish women dress, it is very prescriptive. They are not allowed to wear dresses that are made of cloth that sports a pattern, their dresses must be a particular length and they are not allowed to cut their hair. There is a school of thought that Amish women may have a type of freedom that outsiders do not have, namely they are free from the restrictions that society places on us in the name of beauty. It should also be noted that generally although Amish women dress plainly, they have very creative skills and a keen eye for detail.

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