Oxford Roman Economy Project University of Oxford

Human capital in the medieval Islamic city: Gender, labour markets and women’s property rights


The exploration of the occupational structures of the urban medieval Islamic labour market should include patterns of female wage earning.  The manufacturing sector in particular was organized on gender basis, with women dominating several branches of the textiles industry, namely spinning, dyeing of fine fabrics, brocades weaving and sewing. But the significance of female earnings for income distribution, GDP estimates and the economy in general, cannot be properly understood and correctly evaluated without factoring in the impact of women’s property rights in the Islamic law. 

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