Women in ancient Egypt had a status that women in many countries still haven't achieved. They could inherit, run businesses, take a divorce (and take their possessions with them), decide who would inherit them, bear wittness in court...
As an example of this "unequal status" the writer mentions the tomb of Kha and Merit, which was found on the west bank of Luxor - ancient Thebes - by Ernesto Schiaparelli in 1906.
Kha was the overseer of works in the Valley of the Kings. He died in his 60's and the X-rays of his still unwrapped mummy show expensive golden jewellery. His wife Merit died much younger, maybe around 25-35 years of age (which was more or less the average age of a woman then). She also wore some golden jewellery (her mummy is also still unwrapped), but had only a few other possessions in the tomb. (Though the fact that most of the things in their tomb were household items, makes it likely they were in use and only interred when Kha died as well).
Still - the lid and parts of the lower coffin Merit was in, was gilded. Also the coffin was originally made for Kha, not Merit. He gave his own coffin to her and had another made later for himself.
Kha also had a death mask made for Merit of gilded cartonnage, decorated with blue glass paste - a rare and expensive material at the time.
Above you see the mask in question. (I took the picture in the Museo Egizio in Turin / Torino, Italy).
As they had adult children by the time Kha died, Merit most likely was their mother, and this means she died years before Kha. Probably before he gained his high position (and received much of the gold he was wearing in death as gifts from the pharaoh). This means he gave his very expensive coffin to her before he could be certain he had the means and time to have a new one made for himself. In his Book of Going Forth by Day (named The Book of the Dead in our modern times) he had Merit depicted beside himself, entering the afterlife together.
Merit's title, Mistress of the House, was well respected in ancient Egypt, and a title the ladies bore with pride with them to the afterlife.
To me the coffin, mask and being shown alongside her husband speaks of the love he felt for her. The fact she had less jewellery wasn't a sign a lower status as we understand it. She wore all the gold she got in life. As did Kha, in the end. But when his beloved wife died, he was ready to give her his own treasures so she would enter the afterlife with dignity.
Below is a picture of the statue of Kha - placed on his favourite chair. Forever young, as he would like to be remembered. Just like Merit's mask shows here forever young and beautiful.