Women settlers generally had no role in government.
One exception was Lady Deborah Moody of England, who in 1643 became the first woman to head a colonial settlement.
Desiring religious freedom, she and her followers started a community in what is now Brooklyn, New York. Lady Moody received a charter from the Dutch for the town and helped set up its government.
Quaker women held their own business meetings; one of their main duties was to determine if a couple was ready for marriage.