Top 10 Male-Dominated Places (That Are Ruled By Women)

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For the last 100 years, women’s rights have been undergoing a struggle, resulting in women clawing their way up the equality scale with men. While the West still has a ways to go, Western women can look to the developing world to see just how bad things were.

Yet not all of these regions are 100% male-dominated. Many of the strictest male chauvinistic regions have small cultural minorities where women rule, and have more rights or better positions in society, than Western women.

10. Sahrawi Muslims Of The Western Sahara

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In 1975 Morocco invaded the country of “Western Sahara”. Ever since the Moroccan invaders marched across the border, there has been a low-level War for Independence against the occupiers. These fighters, called the Sahrawi National Liberation Movement, or Polisario Front, continue their struggle to this day.

While both Morocco and Western Sahrawi share Muslim cultures, the Sahrawi brand of Islam is much more liberal than the conservative Moroccans. In Sahrawi culture, the women holds the power in the marriage and, if her husband displeases her, then she can divorce into becoming a revered member of Sahrawi society. Divorced Sahrawi women are revered and much sought after by male suitors, moreso than an unmarried virgin.

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9. Western African Countries And The Akan People

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Western Africa has probably the highest concentration of nations in the world, and many are ranked among the worst in the world for women’s rights. Yet, mixed among these chauvinistic cultures, are minority populations of the Akan. Although modern forces are changing their culture, the Akan people are historically a matrilineal culture, where inheritance and power falls in the women’s hands. When a man has children, they aren’t his; rather, they are his wife’s families’ children.

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8. Sworn Virgins In Albania

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Before Communism relaxed the intense traditional chauvinistic culture of Albania, the region lived under the law of Kanun: a medieval set of rules that tightly restricts women’s rights, going so far to state that “a woman is a sack made to endure.” Yet, in Albanian culture, there still remains a unique cultural aspect called the Sworn Virgin. Rural Albania is plagued by blood feuds that often last for generations. Many times, all the men in a family will be killed in revenge for something their great-grandfather did. Since all power rests with the men in this society, a women has to take their place to keep the family running. Called Sworn Virgins, these women basically become, and are seen by other Albanians as, men. They dress and act like men, but are immune from a blood feud and, with their elevated status as a “man,” equal to any other man they serve as the family’s legal guardian.

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7. Young Women In Amish Culture

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The Amish are a strict Christian sect that frown upon any technology or concept that distracts from family unity and God. Living much like we did 200 years ago, the Amish shunning of modern technology means they still drive their famous horse-drawn carriages, and sit at home in the dark with no electricity, and only candles to keep the nightlife from being totally pitch-black. The women’s role is seen as the homemaker, and she traditionally spends her time in the kitchen and at home. Yet the Amish have a unique aspect to their culture: Rumspringa. Roughly translated in English as “running around,” Rumspringa is when Amish teenagers are allowed to live by whatever rules they want, under the concept that, after experiencing outside culture, they eventually renounce it and come back into the fold by being baptized into the Amish church. During this time, the Amish girls are given free reign to do what they want, until they make the choice to return to the church.

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6. Iroquois

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Iroquois society, or the Iroquois League, is famous for inspiring the American Revolution against the tyrannical British King, and many of the League’s tenants made it into the American Constitution. One thing they don’t talk about is the role of women in Iroquois culture. Women held the power, and all wealth, passed through the mother’s side. After marriage, the man moved in with the wife’s family and, if the marriage didn’t work, he would be pushed out. While the Iroquois nations were ruled by chiefs, they could be removed and replaced at any time by a council of women elders. The League still exists today, straddling the Eastern border between Canada and America.

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5. Polyandry In The Himalayas

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Polyandry, or the practice of one wife having several husbands, used to be quite common in the Himalaya region that now makes up Northern India, Nepal, Bhutan and China. As the more mainstream, male-dominated, cultures creep into these formerly-remote regions, the practice is slowly dying out. Sometimes, the practice is forcefuly removed by cultures who feel threatened by women’s rights. Even now though, you can still find little clusters of Polyandry communities alongside the world’s tallest mountains.

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4. Minangkabau In Indonesia

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Indonesia has more Muslims than any other country in the world. Many areas of Indonesia follow strict Islamic law, which limits the rights of women. However, in Indonesia, the Minangkabau people, the largest matrilineal culture in the world, thrive. At the age of seven, boys are sent off to live in a religious school. When they are of age, they are encouraged to go out and explore the world and make their riches, before returning to settle in their homeland. With no men, this leaves women to take care of the home and economic life of their communities.

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3. Mosou People In China

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Sexuality was so suppressed in China, due to its traditional male-dominated culture and eventual Communist policies, that China has a unique mental condition called Shen Kui, or sexual-frustration-sickness. This is not the case with all of the people living in China though. One ethnic group living in Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces in China, close to the border with Tibet, revolves around the empowerment of women. In Mosou culture, there is no concept of marriage. Rather it is the women who, depending on who suites her fancy, asks a man to come to her house for, well, liaisons. Any children that result from these encounters are raised by the mother’s extended family.

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2. Meghalaya In India

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In the Meghalaya culture of India, there is a problem not encountered very much anywhere else in the world. In Hindu culture, where women’s rights are always under threat, with the Meghalaya people they have the opposite problem: men’s rights. In their culture, women have all the sway: wealth, the family name, and most of their culture’s power, which passes from woman to woman with little or no say from the menfolk. Recently, Meghalaya men have been organizing to fight for equal rights with women.

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1. Kalash People In Pakistan

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In Pakistan, where half the country is run by the seemingly anti-woman Taliban, there lives a small minority group where women have more rights than even women living in the West. The Kalash people live in Northern Pakistan’s Chitral Valley, close to the Afghan border. Rumored to be decedents of Alexander The Great’s conquest of Afghanistan, around 3000 people live in their little valley Utopia. For thousands of years, this women-centered culture has left them peace-loving and virtually crime-free. In Kalash culture, women choose their partners and, if the men don’t keep them happy, they can be discarded, with no repercussions, for a new man.

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25 Comments

  1. Am I the only person who wishes women were more like women? Not the women of today, who f and blind, are covered in tattoos, are built like Geoff Capes, or are airheads like Cheryl Cole? I like women to be women.

    • You are not the only one. Too many modern women have turned their lives into a competition against the very people they’re trying to get to pay for their dinner. I enjoyed this planet more back when dames had class.

      • There are still many classy women in the world and a woman who has class doesnt necessarily mean she has no tattoos especially these days. What does the build of her body have to do with it either? There are plenty of women who are also considered classy yet have no brains. Classiness is about how a woman presents herself from inside. It has nothing to do with what she looks like. The classiness you are speaking of is of submissiveness. The way women used to be and grew out of over time having been tired and weary of being treated like second class by their husbands and a male dominated society of the past. Things are changing, women are speaking up. It makes them no less classy just not weak, quieted and submissive.

        • Trash and filth. They destroy their own lives and blame men. Without men to hate womem would lose their minds

      • LovelyandEmpowered on

        Do you feel threatened that women will no longer be subjugated?

        Oh and by all means stay in whatever country you are in-but fair warning the word is spreading and women everywhere will not be taking the back seat for long;)

        • Subjugated? Not really. Looking at your moniker, it appears that you have issues for males for some reason. Well, I love women, respect them, and prefer being with women than men. It’s the haters I don’t like; ones who hate males simply because they are males. God made us different; both physically and psychologically. It appears that as a feminist, you don’t understand that. It’s women who obviously took the “women’s study” course at college who are the haters. For me, I love women; except for the haters like you.

        • LovelyandEmpowered on

          Lesson #1 do not make assumptions silly goose, none of this comes from a course in women’s studies;). My degree is far from liberal arts, though I am well read.

          Say what you will, however, the fact that you assume any “enlightenment” a woman may have or her feelings to the contrary comes from knowledge garnered from anything outside of a course in women’s studies is proof of what you really think of women.

          Lesson #2 I do not hate men, quiet the contrary. I enjoy them very, very much and take great pride in my femininity. Women’s liberation affords me this. I love being female.

          :)…walk on neanderthal, walk on…(snickers)

        • Carry on with your delusion, little girl. 😉 it’s safe right now in your neighborhood isn’t it? No crime, and plenty of quaint little cafes where intellectuals solve the world’s problems over a latte, right?

          Yes, the western world is a civilized little place right now, where women (rightfully) have an equal presence and equal opportunities in the safe little world that men (or as you prefer to refer to them as neanderthals) have created by fighting to establish a safe world for their loved ones where women can flourish with equality, and this something I support. Not bad for a neanderthal, right? 🙂

          If, God forbid, civilization ever breaks down and all the masculine men are gone, and the barbarians where men are still men coming knocking on the door, who will protect you? Rome thought it would last for an eternity, and men became feminized. Guess what? Their empire collapsed by the invading barbarians and conquered a once glorious civilization.

          Civilization is more fragile than what you think. Look at the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in NY and NJ. Didn’t take long for a “civilized society” to revert to more base behavior, did it? Remember what happened in New Orleans after the hurricane there? Where were your wonderfully compliant men when the women who were raped in the stadium in the aftermath? Trying to reason with the rapists and appeal to their decency? A real man would have defended his woman – another neanderthal trait. 🙂

          I enjoy being a neanderthal, so I can look after the women I love. I don’t think that is something a feminist can comprehend. 😉

      • Oh by the way,it seems there seems to be a lot of abrasive american women who are more than willing to gave themselves up for barbarians already(even converting to their religion)

    • No, John. There are many of us out there wishing that women were still women. Glamorous women who enjoy being women, and allowing men to be men instead of trying to make them conform to something we are not..

      • @Mr X
        Don’t worry Mr x,women are resilience,if some barbaric civilization takes over,women could easily surrendered themselves as concubines/mistress/whore or whatever..
        It is men we should worry about,they could easily being wiped out if those barbarians do takeover.but then again who can guarantee the cycles wouldn’t get repeated itself.These barbarian could developed into an advanced civilised people like the romans then become feminized.I assumed eventually these barbarians would get tired of living neanderthal lifestyles.I mean who would want to live in a society where men had to constantly look over their wife/mother/sister just in case they end up being raped??
        Those barbarians which conquered the romans has indeed today end up being another feminized males but then again I doubt any of these men would like to go to the past.If you takes pride being neanderthals who protect their women constantly..Feel free to to go afghanistan you would feel like a hero..You would be thankful there are no feminism there…

  2. The article is a little biased towards the country of Morocco. The history of the region is more complicated than just colonialism and if the women in the Sahara were so powerful why aren’t they part of the sahraoui government in exile, which is one of the last government that uses the one party system.
    Please post my comment.

  3. One more thing about number 10. These are the same people who force little girls to get fat by feeding them camel milk and couscous until it they puke.

  4. Point number 2 ” In Hindu culture, where women’s rights are always under threat”. This is not completely right. I say this because I’m a Hindu. We have had muslim rulers invade out country and ruled us for more than 800 years coming as far off from Turkey, Iran, Afganistan etc. We used to be a very open culture with women having more power than men but our openness was not in accordance with the Islamic culture hence we lost a lot of our heritage, our culture and our freedom. Lots of unwanted things creeped in and also Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists were converted to Islam and made to follow rules made by these foreign rulers otherwise they would be punished. Currently a huge revolution of cultural change is taking place in India.

  5. Tok Padang Jeringau on

    “Indonesia has more Muslims than any other country in the world. Many areas of Indonesia follow strict Islamic law, which limits the rights of women. ”

    Couldn’t be furthest than the truth.

    Islam gives women the right to life, to education, to inherit, to conduct business and yes, to vote ( this is known as the baiah ).

    For example, a Muslim woman may divorce her husband for the simplest reason of no longer being in love with him, with no repercussions. A Muslim woman may not be married off without her permission. She chooses her own husband and keeps her maiden name if she so chooses.

    As a wife, she has the right to demand her own home ( separate from her in-laws). She may not be forced to work, and if she does work, she is under no obligation to contribute to the household. Providing for her and her children are the sole responsibility of her husband.

    As one delves deeper into what Islam says about women’s rights, we will see that the claim that Islam limits the rights of women to be false and perhaps even malicious.

    Indeed, long before Western women were liberated, the Muslim world had produced centuries-long history of women scholars.

    http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/women_scholars_of_hadith.htm

    • all well said in theory, but in reality how many muslims do you know that actually put these tenets, with respect to women, into practice. I think if women’s rights really was such a well known concept from Islam, then we wouldnt have modern concepts today like honour killing, purdah, love-jihad not to mention the almost endless list of extremist Muslim organizations that view women as dirt. Taliban, AlQaeda, Laskar e Toiba etc etc

  6. What’s with the whole calling people’s cultures as chauvinistic? I mean, what the hell? You do realize that that’s offensive and crude, right?

    • LovelyandEmpowered on

      Are you familiar with the phrase calling a spade a spade? How about if the shoe fits? Get over being “PC” Diglossia.

  7. Information on Pakistan is not authenticated – says “half the country is run by taliban” – WTF who wrote it?

  8. “In Hindu culture, where women’s rights are always under threat,” unlike followers of Abraham, no?… typical rhetoric of sky daddy worshipers.

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