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Androcracy is a form of government in which the government rulers are male. The males, especially fathers, have the central roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property. It is also sometimes called a phallocracy, phallocratic, andrarchy, or an androcentric society.
Traditionally, influential political positions have been disproportionately occupied by males. With the rise of feminism since the late 19th century, opinions concerning women in politics have changed in a manner that has facilitated an increase in female political participation. Nevertheless, there continues to be a considerable disparity between the percentage of males and females in politics. Currently, women represent 19.4 percent of all parliamentarians in the regions of Europe, the Americas, Sub-Sahara Africa, Asia, the Pacific, the Arab States, and Nordic countries. The level of female participation in parliament varies between regions, ranging from percentages as high as 42 in Nordic countries to as low as 11.4 in Arabic states.
Androcracy as a gender bias may influence the decision-making process in many countries. Kleinberg and Boris point to a dominant paradigm which promotes wage-earning fathers with financially dependent mothers, the exclusion of same-sex couples, and the marginalization of single-parent families.
The opposite of androcracy is gynecocracy, sometimes referred to as gynocracy, or rule by women. It is related to but not synonymous with matriarchy. Evidence indicating historical gynecocracies survives mostly in mythology and in some archaeological records, although it is disputed by some authors, like Cynthia Eller in her book The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory.
- "Women in National Parliaments as of 31 October 2011". ipu.org. Inter-Parliamentary Union. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- Eisler, Riane (1987). The chalice and the blade: our history, our future. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harper & Row. pp. 24–25 and 105–106. ISBN 9780062502896.
- Boris, Eileen; Kleinberg, S.J. (Autumn 2003). "Mothers and other workers: (re)conceiving labor, maternalism, and the state". Journal of Women's History. Johns Hopkins University Press. 15 (3): 90–117. doi:10.1353/jowh.2003.0061. View online.
- Eller, Cynthia (2011). Gentlemen and Amazons: the Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory, 1861-1900. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520266766.