At the beginning of the play, we get a very biased insight into the character of Gertrude and how those around her perceive her To successfully study how Shakespeare presents relationships between men and women in The Winter's Tale there are four main relationships to examine - Hermione and Leontes, Paulina and Antigonus, Perdita and Florizel, and Leontes and Paulina Shakespeare takes the ideas and attitudes of other sonnets and twists them into his own which goes against the habitual descriptions.
Although Ophelia loves Hamlet, she rejects him as an act of obedience towards her father. Women were inferior to men.
But by God! This makes us see a woman in a new light during Shakespeare epoch. By so doing, he opens the door for them politically as well as socially, well in advance of any legal rights being granted to women.