How Iroquois Women Inspired the Suffragettes

Iroquois society was matrilineal, with women controlling political life. 

“We designed political life so women had the authority over how life is preserved,” says George-Kanentiio. According to the Iroquois tradition, because women are “life givers,” they had the right to decide when life was taken. They also had control over their own bodies: Iroquois women were free to walk where they pleased without danger. Indeed, when European American women who were captured by the Iroquois were given the opportunity to return, they often preferred to stay." 

"This growing awareness of Iroquois women’s status provided proof, for the early American suffragists, that in contrast to what they had been taught, women’s disenfranchisement was neither natural nor inevitable. And it influenced their worldview in ways that went far beyond the vote." Read more via the Washington Post.

December 18, 2016 by Megan Reilly Cayten