The year 2016 was plagued by major national and international conflicts and challenges due to ongoing war in the Middle East, intriguing elections of controversial male presidents in the Philippines and the US, historical impeachments of first female presidents in Brazil and Korea, and the dismantling of the EU, to mention a few. These conflicts and challenges have in turn led to displacements, hierarchies, inequalities, factions, scandals, threats, and, ultimately, deaths. Our collective musings on these global critical events, including the natural and man-made calamities besetting Mother Earth, led us to highlighting studies on matriarchy and motherhood in this Volume, so that we are able to give focus on the humanitarian and maternal values of nurturing, caring, leading, empowering, and sharing, which we believe are the values we ought to offer and invest in the world we live in.
According to the founding mother of Modern Matriarchal Studies, Heide Goettner-Abendroth, “Matriarchies are not just a reversal of patriarchy … ; [they] are consciously built upon … maternal values and motherly work, and this is why they are much more realistic than patriarchies … .With matriarchal cultures, equality means more than just a leveling of differences. Natural differences between the genders and the generations are respected and honoured, but they never serve to create hierarchies … Maternal values as ethical principles pervade all areas of a matriarchal society. It creates an attitude of care-taking, nurturing, and peacemaking” (www.hagia.de).
Right through Volume 23, we seek to publish one or two research articles on matriarchy or motherhood, along with reviews of books on motherhood recently published by Routledge and SAGE. To provide a historical and analytical backdrop, we have invited Heide Goettner-Abendroth to share her notes on past debates and present new foundation on matriarchal studies. We hope you enjoy reading the journal and wish 2017 will be a wonderful year for everyone!