Women's Power in Global Perspective

bijogos and sufi womenA panoramic view of female leadership, creativity, wisdom, and courage, around the world and over thousands of years. Max Dashu presents female spheres of power in politics, economics, religion, medicine, arts and letters, featuring a rich tapestry of women famous and anonymous, ancient and modern.

Live talk with digital images - 90 minutes (or 60 minute option).

Monuments to Ancestral Mothers. Founders, Chieftains, and Queens. Clan Mothers: Structural Social Power. Mothertech: Builders, Potters, Weavers. Providers: Foragers, Farmers, Fishers and Traders. Female Elders. Seers, Shamans, Priestesses. Healers, Medicine Women, Physicians. Athletes, Warriors, Rebels. Educators and scientists. Revolutionaries, liberators, and activists.

Libusche • Maria Hebraea • Anacaona • Walladah bint-al-Mustakfi • Enheduanna • Karaikkalammayar • Yeshe Tsogyel • Marie de France • Mama Huaco • Abla Pokou • Gabriela Silang • Lozen • Catalina Erausa • Cecile Fatiman • Matilda Joslyn Gage • Kartini Solo • Zitkala-Sa • Niuta Teitelboim • Violeta Parra • Mileva Maric • Anna Mae Aquash • María Candelaria • Samsi of Nabataea • and more...

This presentation surveys female spheres of power across history and around the world. Although modern culture treats these spheres as discrete categories, they overlap considerably in many cultures. Even in societies that restricted the "proper" female sphere, women found ways to assert their creativity and subvert social norms, sometimes in spite of severe consequences.

sumatran, kwakwakawaka womenPolitical Power: leaders, chieftains, queens

Social power: clan mothers, culture-makers, elders

Economic power: sustainers of the life-support network

Religious power: priestesses, seers, shamans

Medicine women, herbalists, healers, midwives

Artists, Poets, Musicians

Leaders of social justice movements and rebellions

Musicians and poets who acted as social consciences -- or simply pursued their own vision.

These are the bold and creative women you always knew existed, who were kept out of the history books and off the TV screens. Seeing their reality will change how you think about female humanity.


All titles are live visual presentations (average 90 minutes) with a break midway and more time for questions and discussion. Tech requirements: digital projector with VGA cable, screen, and mic.

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Bronze statue of young woman.
Benin culture, 16th century.