There are many kinds of hunter/gatherers. Woodburn in “Egalitarian Societies” (in) divides them into immediate return and delayed return hunter/gatherers. In immediate return H/G societies gender relations are egalitarian.
Now that doesn’t mean that all people do the same things. But women do hunt, men to take care of babies and most importantly all people have autonomy.
Leacock in “Women’s Status in Egalitarian Society: Implications for Social Evolution” (also in) has pointed out that the measure of egalitarianism is actually autonomy, not similarity. Even in our culture, we don’t want to be the same as our neighbor; we want to have the same opportunity to make our own decisions for our own lives – we want autonomy. She writes:
“Hunter/gatherer women and men make their decisions about their lives with great autonomy and even children have far more autonomy than we would think is proper.”
This is illustrated by Nissa, a !Kung women who went to live with her grandmother when she was about 5 years old. This is far more autonomy that we would allow.
For more please see:from my upcoming book, “Hunter/Gatherers to Digital Natives: Six Information Revolutions.