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Title: Mujeres urbanas y trabajo autónomo en la Edad Moderna portuguesa (Coimbra, 1500-1834)
Other Titles: Urban women and autonomous work in Early Modern Portugal (Coimbra, 1500-1834)
Authors: Lopes, Maria Antónia 
Keywords: mujeres; comercio; artesanado; trabajo por cuenta propia; women’s agency; women; trade; handicrafts; self-employment
Issue Date: Jun-2023
Publisher: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
Serial title, monograph or event: Ohm : Obradoiro de Historia Moderna
Issue: 32
Place of publication or event: Santiago de Compostela
Abstract: This article analyses the economic activities developed by women in a Portuguese city, Coimbra, during the Early Modern Age, assessing their numerical significance, their protagonism and their decision-making capacity in the socioeconomic life of the city. Coimbra was then a medium-sized city, an episcopal and university seat; however, under this image of a traditional city, it had an intense economic activity that was managed and supervised by the City Hall, especially with regard to the daily supply of goods. After clarifying the legal status of Portuguese women in terms of property and work —which is still the subject of misunderstandings— it is emphasized that marital status was not a determining factor in the exercise of autonomous professions. Drawing on administrative sources and using a quantitative approach, the paper focuses on women who were self-employed rather than salaried workers. It establishes that women appear in multiple activities (about one hundred professions); that they were two-thirds of self-employed merchants, both in the mid-17th century and in the early 19th century; that most commercial activities were not segregated by gender, and men and women performed them in competition; that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries women obtained examination charters and were integrated into the guilds of about ten trades, as the closure of guilds to women only occurred during the eighteenth century; and that, although economic activities were intensely regulated and supervised by municipal authorities, women often offered passive or active resistance to this regulation.
ISSN: 2340-0013
DOI: 10.15304/ohm.32.8806
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FLUC Secção de História - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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