During the colonial era in Latin America, there were three different classes of women. There were the Elite women, the Mulata and the Indian. Where in those groups they had different roles and positions in the colonial society. There was a big diversity of conditions for the women related with power, wealth, and the access to culture and overall the social group they belonged to.
To be able to understand the roll that women played in the colonial Latin America we need to understand the colonial society by the time. In the XVI Spain, a healthy family was a very important for a good image in front of the society. The man was the authority in the house and he was in charge of working to bring an income to his family, also he was in charge of getting involved in businesses depending on the social class him and his family belonged to. On the other hand, the women was in charge of the home, children and to keep home as a harmonious place for the men (husband) of the house. Women were not aloud to give opinion in any kind of political or business related topics. Marriages were usually arranged by parents and women were always under the protection of their parents until they would get married. Education was not a privilege that women had during this era, if they were from the elite class where usually families on this society level got tutors to teach them, but to women of lower classes they would have to go to nun convents were they were thought how to read, write, dance, cook. These principles come to American colonies and they become the model to follow being a reflect of the Spanish society.
The formation of the colonial elite was conformed by the linage especially from people coming directly from Spain with a tittle or a well recognize last name. Also, marriages were considered strategies between families to extend resources and business approaches in order to have control and power. Through marriage many of the patrimonies and wealth of families became bigger.
The mission of the married elite woman was to keep the Spanish traditions, the promotion of the Roman Catholic religion at home and the consolidation of a typical model of a Spanish family. Family was the primary source of rules of life and it had two functions: protect the family and to prepared children for the future. In private, women were in charge of all the households and their obligations were to raise children, deal with all the households and make sure the education of cultural and moral values were thought to the children. In the women was the responsibility to keep the honor of the family, by following the ideal of a true elite Spanish family. In public the role that elite women had was to assist to events that the husband had to assist to, the participation of them in charities events and go to church.
The Mulata woman had a different role than the elite women. They weren’t seemed as pure because they had more contact with the exterior world due to the roles that they had to take in their social class. Many of them had jobs as servants or in the markets. Like the elite women marriage was consider ideal in their life but it was not as complex as it was for the elite group. The reason is because there was not an important linage that had to be taken care of. As a result, in this social group individuals would get marriage due to feelings, matrimonies were not