The changes signalled by the establishment of the independent state did not concern all aspects of Greek society in the same way or at the same time. In some places, changes were deep and direct, in others it took some time, while in others still they were so small as to go unnoticed. The position of women was among the latter; they were segregated particularly in urban centres. This was largely due to the fact that money became the basic means of transaction in the economy and the formation of new social strata in the cities, organized around salaried work. On the other hand, conditions for the formation of a female conscience, and along with this, for the gradual creation of a particular female discourse, were gradually created in cities once again after the second half of the 19th century. This discourse was included in the general development of the movement for the emancipation of women in Western societies.

In the Greek society of the 19th century, and in the countryside in particular, women still worked in the agrarian sector. Their participation in the productive process gave them a positive aspect, but this did not mean that their position was not inferior. In urban centres, the gradual prevalence of salaried work cut women off from the productive process, especially those in the middle social strata. This meant that women were literally caged inside the home, dealing with household chores. These were not considered productive and could not be priced. The position of women in the rapidly developing middle and urban strata was basically aggravated, as these women were deprived of every positive definition their participation in the productive procedure gave them. The 'invention' of motherhood - that is, the positive attribution given to the role of the mother - appeared in this period and concerned the activities of city women who were excluded from all productive processes. Education and charity constituted a privileged field of intervention for women, especially for the ones from the higher social strata; it helped them be present in the public arena and promoted solidarity between them.

The quest for new, positively-defined social roles and the development of a discourse which demanded the elimination of unfavourable discrimination against women was the basic concern of a circle of literate women which appeared in urban centres after the second half of the 19th century. The most dynamic form of expression for this wave was the Ladies' Journal, a weekly newspaper with a particularly large circulation, issued by Kalliroe Parrain, between 1887 and 1907. This newspaper, which maintained a relation with female movements in Europe and was represented at relevant conferences, became the first nucleus in the formation of a female conscience in Greek society.