Patriarchy

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Types of government

Patriarchy is a type of government that may be defined as 'a society that is based upon the family as the primary unit. Further, within the family the father has primary responsibility for, and authority over, the family'.

Historically, this is a result of the division of labor; men work primarily outside of the home while women work primarily inside the home. Consequently, public positions such as in politics, the military, and the professions, are overwhelmingly or even solely male pursuits. At the same time occupations such as primary teacher, child-rearing, and similar family-oriented activities are primarily or solely the purview of women.

The definition of Patriarchy is broad enough to include societies where descent is tracked through the female line ('matrilinearity', such as in Jewish culture), where inheritance is through the female line, etc. Some anthropologists, such as Margaret Meade, argue that all Human societies have been patriarchies.

While there is some debate over the relative benefits and deficiencies of patriarchy, particularly in the fields of anthropology and feminism, it is the dominant social form throughout the world.