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Matriarchal Societies of the World

Patriarchy is a social system wherein men are the powerful and dominant in matters involving political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property. On the other hand, matriarchy is exactly the opposite. Matrilineality, matrilocal residence, and matrifocal families are three terminologies that are often brought up with the subject of matriarchy. However, the three are slightly different.

With matrilineality, a person’s descent is traced through the female line or the mother’s lineage. A person’s matrilineal descent dictates his or her inheritance of property and/or titles. In a matrilocal residence, a newly wed husband moves to his wife’s community or household after marriage. In a matrifocal family, the mother is the head of the family and the household, and she takes charge of raising her children.

In modern society, Iceland is one of the matriarchal societies that champion women’s rights. It is the first country in the world to have a political party founded and ran purely by women. The matriarchal society of Iceland became even more known worldwide when Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir became the first female prime minister of Iceland.

In the Saharan dessert, women of the Tuareg and the Berber people have high status. Women are the ones who read and write while men are in charge of herding livestock. The Tuareg people are Muslims, but they also have pre-Muslim dispositions that include matrilineal practices.

A lake named Lugu Lake, which is located in southwest China, is dubbed as the “Kingdom of Women.” It is dominated by women called the Mosuo women. This group of women is an example of a matrilineal society. In terms of inheritance, the female line determines the inheritor. Mosuo women get to choose their own partners, and they can have multiple relationships. As such, a woman’s children may be fathered by different men, but there is no shame in not knowing who a child’s father is.

In the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the women of a group called Aka go hunting while their husbands are left behind to cook. The men are also called the “best dads in the world” because of the time they spend playing with and nurturing their babies.

It is a popular belief that men rule societies. However, the above mentioned societies prove that some societies are, in fact, matriarchal, matrilineal, matrilocal, or matrifocal. Perhaps, looking at patriarchal and matriarchal societies demonstrate the fact that societal roles are, to some degree, socially-constructed.

질문&어휘 문법TIPs 해석
questions

1. What is matriarchy?

2. What is difference between matrilineal, matrilocal, and matrifocal?

3. What are the different societies ruled by women?

vocabularies

patriarchy 가부장제

matrilocal 처가 거주제의

matrifocal 어머니 중심의

descent 혈통

lineage 혈통

household 가구, 세대

champion 옹호하다

political party 정당

disposition 성향, 기질

inheritance 상속

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