Women as Caryatids
Regardless of class, women have always been the cement holding families together. Upper-class men were always free to study, create and pursue personal goals, while women were expected to stay home and raise children. Not educating girls is and always has been a deliberate act intended to limit their role in society. First lady Martha Washington could not read or write. Abigail Adams, known for her brilliance, was considered to be self-taught.
Today, in many third world countries, boys are sent to school while girls are kept home to help their mothers work the farm, keep house, sell goods in the market and fetch water from distant sources.