Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(2,319 words)

1. Women in Ancient China

Early sources point to the existence of a society based on matriarchal law in archaic, pre-Confucian China, within which women possessed a high social status due to matrilineal succession and matrilocal families. This appreciation still persists today and is reflected in the myth of Nügua, the goddess that saved the world, as well as in the cultic wo…

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Leutner, Mechthild, “Women”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 01 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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