The story of how the Minangkabau culture merged with Islam to create a female friendly society - strangely has the Dutch colonialists to thank for! On our journey through West Sumatra the big question was always: How did the Muslim religion and the matrilineal culture of Minangkabau, where women inherit property and keep the family … Continue reading The unlikely marriage of Islam and matriarchy!
It’s difficult to imagine the husband being the underdog in a Muslim society, but that is exactly how it is in the Minangkabau culture of West Sumatra. On our journey into the lush green hills of the Minang Heartlands I see men ploughing the land with water buffalo and women busily harvesting or planting rice … Continue reading Where Muslim men obey their wives!
Continuing our quest for matriarchy we head to West Sumatra in Indonesia, where the Muslim society of Minangkabau dispels all prejudice you normally associate with Islam. To begin with, though, I feel a little overwhelmed, because 86% of Indonesia's 250 million population follow the Islamic faith, making it the most populous Muslim country in the … Continue reading Does a Muslim matriarchy really exist?
The closest I came to witnessing the physical strength of the Isthmus women was a brawl at a local cantina (bar) on our first visit to Tehuantepec. Katerina had left early because it seemed to be too much of man’s world in the bar. The moment she walks out the door, however, this big woman … Continue reading Fighting women of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec – Mexico
The first matriarchal culture on our journey to places where women rule is the Isthmus Zapotec society of Southern Mexico. Here the women are considered to be the more rational and intelligent of the sexes! Traditionally, the men worked the fields by night and slept during the day, leaving the women to sell the produce … Continue reading Matriarchal cultures aren’t automatically friendly towards women!
It was her idea at first, but somehow I got involved and it all got out of hand! It all started ten years ago… My girlfriend Katerina was doing an internship with Womankind Worldwide in London, and saw a man giving a talk on female empowerment. She was so impressed by the way he made … Continue reading How my girlfriend got me to write a book about matriarchy!