In the Kingdom of Women

Posted on in Features by Rob Sidon


For several decades, the status and condition of women have become preoccupations to the point that a large number of countries dedicate an international day to the cause every year. This recognition of women is justified by the place we occupy in our societies and, especially, our role in the development of the family unit.

In matrilineal societies, women run the social organization—they determine the lineage and own the land. These societies are matrilocal because it is the man who moves to the woman’s house and the children who become members of the mother’s clan. In a world where equality of opportunity is still far from being achieved and the image of women is too often degraded, these societies have something to teach us.

Whatever the geographic, demographic, and structural characteristics of these very rare communities are, they all share the same uncertainty: What is their future? Already weakened by evangelist missions conducted by various colonizers, how can these micro societies subsist in a mainly patriarchal world? Will these communities be able to resist the globalized and patriarchal world that surrounds them? Are the local powers going to let them disappear or protect them? Let’s hope that these communities will endure.

Common Ground is honored and grateful to showcase this astounding compilation by Nadia Ferroukhi. Nadia, whose father is Algerian and whose mother is Czech, lives in Paris. She travels the world capturing images of human diversity. Her photographs are regularly exhibited and have been published in books and in the international press.


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