It might interest you to know that the popular saying “It’s a man’s world” still does not apply in all communities today, especially with regards to marriage. So when feminist activities break their heads over gender equality, masculinist activists should point them towards the direction of India where there still exists communities where matriarchal culture that sees families jubilating over the birth of a girl. Why? Women are in-charge in all respects, marry men, and in fact, men leave their home to live with women after once they get married.
The Indian state of Meghalaya is truly a tourist attraction in every facet of the word. The state is not just home to some of the most alluring natural wonders in the country, and rich history of culture but also curious tradition. Khasi and the Garo people are two culturally spectacular tribes in the Meghalaya state where a matriarchal structure of society is still intact. Such societies are rarely in contemporary world, especially in developing societies where misogyny (inexplicable hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women and girls) persists. It is then a puzzle that in India where the status of women reflects some form of misogyny, there are still societies where women are in-charge.
The birth of a girl is a source of jubilation in among the Khasi and the Garo people. This is unlike many places in India where the birth of a girl is accompanied by reactions ranging from subdued acceptance to outright rage. This is not so in places like Shillong where the birth of a girl is sought for and is accompanied by a heavy dose of merry-making and mirth.
There is no disparity in the treatment of women in urban and rural households of the Khasis and the Garos. Women and men both share duties, chores and of course, wine.
Women are also the sole custodian of wealth, reports Scoopwhoop. According to custom, property is handed to the youngest daughter in the family, though the maternal uncles are considered the directors of ancestral property. This is a source of great empowerment to the women in these communities. It has given them leverage, and a level of importance and significance which is rare in other parts of India.
To the most striking aspect of these communities – women are in charge when it comes to marriage. Khasi men usually go and live in the house of the woman and her family after marriage. This is in stark contrast to most other communities in India, which see tearful goodbyes between the woman’s family and have been the basis for most Bollywood movies, writes Scoopwhoop. This is rare in most parts of Africa where societies still have a strangle hold on patriarchal structure.
The matriarchal structure of Khasi community further means there are no illegitimate children among them. This is because children take the title of their mother and her clan. This further strengthens the fact that women are truly in charge in this community. The Khasi and the Garo people are unique in modern society especially in the developing world.