I came across an interesting word in a New York Times article about an exhibit in New York called “Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens":
Yet, the show argues, the assumption that women lived in a state of purdah, completely removed from public life, is contradicted by the depictions of them in art.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, purdah means:
1. a. A curtain or screen, used mainly in India to keep women separate from men or strangers. b. The Hindu or Muslim system of sex segregation, practiced especially by keeping women in seclusion. 2. Social seclusion: "Never have artists been more separate: their inordinate fame, wealth, drug use have driven them into luxurious purdah"" (D. Keith Mano).
The etymology: Urdu pardah, veil, from Persian, from Middle Persian pardak, from Old Persian *paridaka-, from pari-dā-, to place over : pari, around, over + dā- , to place.
Note: First sentence updated to address comment below.