Amish women

In Amish communities, the women are highly esteemed for their contributions to the society and homes which significantly creates communal ties. Amish women play an important role since they make the needs of the community, family and church a priority before anything else. They work alongside their husbands in the fields, prepare meals, tend cattle, take care of children and perform the general house chores as well as assisting their neighbors who need help. Since homes are regarded as the basic unit of the Amish society, the role of women in maintaining homes is very important.

Traditionally, the women heed the decisions made by their husbands as they take a subservient role. Amish women consider their husbands as the family ‘head’ hence the women are involved in financial decisions and other important matters in the families. Most have their names listed alongside their husbands in property deeds and they control checkbooks in their families.

However, the main responsibility for the women revolve around family chores. Although traditional customs are followed by Amish families where men act as church officials (e.g. elders, bishops and deacons), women have also been given equal vote when it comes to church functions.

They are required to wear humble and plain clothing which is in harmony with their separated and simple lifestyle. In essence, they wear homemade aprons and full skirts which are solid-colored, and they are prohibited from wearing patterned clothes, jewelry ornamentation and using make-ups to show fashion or personal lifestyle. Some Amish communities even dictate the seam width and skirt length for the women and girls.

Indeed, these women are important and highly valued in their culture and afforded some freedoms and equality than women from other societies. For instance, during Amish weddings, couples walk together into the church rather than be ‘given’ by their parents to their future husband.