Most accounts of women living in the Elizabethan Era present them as members of society who were designated to do little more than take care of their homes, raise children and tend to the needs of their men. In this time period, a woman's role was decided by her husband and the type of society she lived in. City women worked in shops, while women of the suburbs worked on farms. Most women were also responsible for housekeeping, child rearing and preparing the family meals while her husband was at work. .
Despite the preconceived ideas we have of women in the Elizabethan Era, it's a little known fact that it was possible for them to hold positions and and occupations of high esteem, even though they continued to be viewed as inferior to men. .
Independence was determined by the men in each woman's life. Females were required to be under the control of male authority. Fathers, husbands, and relatives of late-husbands were the decision makers. However, the true daily life of a female in the Renaissance was determined by her wealth. Poor girls had to work more than upper class girls were. Young girls were able to work at such an early stage because they did not attend school. If lucky, they would learn at home from their brothers' tutors. Otherwise, skills like cooking and sewing were the only things taught to young girls. This encouraged them to focus on domestic work; schooling was distracting towards a girl's purpose. Well-off families taught their daughters at home. Even wealthier girls were taught at home by tutors hired for their brothers. Housekeeping was always instructed by mothers.
In 1513, Henry VIII of England went to war in France. While gone, he appointed Queen Catherine, his wife, as regent of England. On his second time to war in 1544, he chose her as Governor of the Realm once again. While some will say Henry VIII appointed Queen Catherine to this role on the account that she was his wife, it was also known that women were more reliable than men.