The social status of married women clearly changed when their husbands died.
If we focus on the difficulties that widowhood entailed for women in Barcelona in the fourteenth
and fifteenth centuries, we must include an analysis of their economic situation.
The threat of poverty was constant, and in most cases, widows found it difficult to survive.
It must be said that this direct link between poverty and widowhood existed only in the
case of women: widowers were not similarly embattled. In other words, this was a sort of
gendered poverty, because it was their status as “women without a man” that relegated
widows to the social condition of the poor. Depending on their economic and social realities,
the ways in which widows faced the inherent problems of widowhood and their ability
to solve them were completely different.
*Article translated by Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel, Universitat de Barcelona, firstname.lastname@example.org