What’s in it for me? Learn the history of Egypt’s female leaders.
Shrill, bossy, selfish – these are terms you may have heard used to describe women in power. In fact, many sociological studies show a bias against women as leaders that prevails even in our ostensibly progressive society. Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign was, for many women, a particularly painful reminder of the opposition to female leadership that still exists in the modern world. So it may come as a surprise that in ancient Egypt, a culture preceding ours by thousands of years, women were consistently called upon to lead the country. Royal women repeatedly stepped forward to claim the throne, from the first ruling dynasty of the Egyptian nation-state to the very last. How could women gain and hold so much power in a deeply patriarchal, ancient society? Using the latest archeological evidence, Egyptologist Kara Cooney traces the stories of six of these women – Merneith, Neferusobek, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, Tawosret and Cleopatra – through the rise and fall of the Egyptian empire. Take a deep dive into ancient history and discover how these female trailblazers kept their country prosperous and safe – and find out what lessons the lives of these powerful women hold for us today. In these readims, you will learn about the lives, losses and successes of Egypt’s six most important female leaders; the mechanisms of power in ancient Egypt; and the value of female leadership in times of crisis.