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Matriarchical society around the world

Let’s have a look at these societies, where male and female stereotypes are very different from that of mainstream China!


Akan In Ghana

Major positions in the financial and political ladder are assigned by looking at the mother's side of the family. The norm behind inheritance and succession is maternal ancestry. Men have an important role in the life of his sister's son but not his own son. Akan is a polygamous society where men are more associated with the female members of his family, and women are focused on the management of the entire clan.

The Bijagos in Guinea-Bissau

Women choose their husbands and dominate family affairs.


Bribri in Costa Rica

Bribri people are the indigenous people of the Talamanca region of Costa Rica. The tribe's social system is divided into clans, and every child belongs to and is raised by the extended family of the mother. Unlike many mainstream nations, as per the norms of Bribri, only women can inherit the land. Their spirituality also favours women.


Mosuo people of China

Mosuo people are a small community in the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China. They have aspects of a matriarchal culture: women are often the head of the house, inheritance is through the female line, and women make business decisions. However, unlike in a true matriarchy, political power tends to be in the hands of males.

Khasi in India

Khasi people are the indigenous tribe of Meghalaya. They are very much a part of the mainstream society. Even though the children receive their mother’s surname, men play a role in their upbringing. The men also get a share in the property of his parent but the bigger share will always be given to his sister.

Minangkabau in Indonesia

With about 4.2 million members, Minangkabau is the largest matriarchal society in the world. Women are highly respected and favoured among Minangs. The family name and properties are inherited by daughters from mothers.


The ancient Vietnamese family system was most likely matriarchal, with women ruling over the clan or tribe until the Vietnamese adopted the patriarchal system introduced by the Chinese. That being said, Vietnamese women, especially peasant women, still held a higher position than women in most patriarchal societies.


Chambri in New Guinea

Women are energetic and do not wear accessories. They are the main economic pillar of the family. Men are full of emotions and take care of their children.


Kihnu & Manija on the Estonian islands

The women on the Estonian islands Kihnu and Manija as "the last matriarchal society in Europe" because "the older women here take care of almost everything on land as their husbands travel the seas.

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