This book presents the results of Heide Goettner-Abendroth's pioneering research in the field of modern matriarchal studies, based on a new definition of "matriarchy" as true gender-egalitarian societies. Accordingly, matriarchal societies should not be regarded as mirror images of patriarchal ones, as they have never needed patriarchy's hierarchical structures of domination. On the contrary, matriarchal patterns are socially egalitarian, economically balanced, and politically based on consensus decisions. They have been created by women and are founded on maternal values. This new perspective on matriarchal societies is developed step by step by the analysis of extant indigenous cultures in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Heide Goettner-Abendroth is a German philosopher and researcher of culture and society who is focused on matriarchal studies. She taught at the University of Munich and was visiting professor at the University of Montreal, Canada and the University of Innsbruck, Austria. She organized and guided two World Congresses on Matriarchal Studies in 2003 and 2005. She was nominated as one of the "1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize" in 2005.