A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuchman
Peasant women could hold tenancies and in that capacity rendered the same kinds of service for their holdings as men, although they earned less for the same work. Peasant households depended on their earnings. In the guilds, women had monopolies of certain trades, usually spinning and ale-making and some of the food and textile trades. Certain crafts excluded females except for a member’s wife or daughter; in others they worked equally with men. Management of a merchant’s household— of his town house, his country estate, his business when he was absent— in addition to maternal duties gave his wife anything but a leisured life. She supervised sewing, weaving, brewing, candle-making, marketing, alms-giving, directed the indoor and outdoor servants, exercised some skills in medicine and surgery, kept accounts, and might conduct a separate business as femme sole. [emphasis mine]
This is your regularly scheduled reminder that (a) women have, as a general rule, worked throughout the entire history of the world and that the myth that "working women" -- i.e., women working outside the home (as though work inside the home somehow didn't 'count') -- is a new phenomena is largely just that: a myth, and that (b) women's work has consistently been devalued not because the work is not important but because it is a woman who is doing that work.
This is also your regularly scheduled reminder that (c) the devaluation of women's work needs to be meaningfully addressed in our society. And the sooner, the better.