As an argument for the validity of the Gospels, I have heard it mentioned by multiple pastors that a woman's testimony was considered inadmissible in a court of law, so the fact that women first discovered Jesus's empty tomb (e.g. Luke 24:10) is an indicator that the Gospel writers weren't fabricating their stories.
In reading through 2 Chronicles, however, I have been noticing a pattern in which the mothers of some of the kings have been mentioned (e.g. Jehoaddan in 2 Chron. 25:1, Naamah in 2 Chron. 12:13), and there is even a queen who reigns, Athaliah (2 Chron. 22:10), who is also mentioned in 2 Kings.
I know that certain women play major roles in Biblical events (Sarah, Esther, etc.) I'm also aware that in Judaism, a child is considered Jewish if the mother is Jewish, and I am certain that this plays a role in many of these passages, in terms of validating the lineage of various kings. There are also cases in which no men are living in a family, and women become heirs to a family's inheritance (Num 27:2-4).
There are other parts of Scripture which have led some Christians to percieve women as "lesser" than men (e.g. 1 Tim 2:12), but the overall impression I get is that women have had very different, but equally critical roles throughout Scripture.
It seems like this argument of a woman's testimony was probably true of the Roman law, but by reading through the Bible, I'm not convinced that it was true in Jewish circles, and I wonder if the argument itself isn't a little misleading. I think it would pertain specifically to the Roman culture, but the initial push of Christianity was meant specifically for other Jews anyway, not for gentiles.
Note: I ask because I want to both 1) understand this argument, and 2) this aspect of Jesus's culture more accurately-- so if you have sources, please cite them. I'm not looking to discount the authority of the Gospels: I believe the accounts were accurate, and I'm a firm believer that all Scripture is breathed by God (2 Tim 3:16). Nor am I looking at this with an agenda (I happen to be a complementarian, but my wife is not-- God's mercy and love is way more important to me than my own views or blind rule-keeping). Also, I am not trying to create a controversy, so please keep it civil!