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Your Voice: A Student Publication


Your Voice: A Student Publication


Wakanda: A Patriarchal Society with Progressive Elements


While Wakanda is a society that can be considered a patriarchy, it is still not as oppressive as other places such as Afghanistan. In fact, when compared to other parts of the world, Wakanda is far from being the worst example of patriarchy. 

Patriarchy is “a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line.” By this definition, Wakanda is a patriarchal society. T’Challa, Wakanda’s leader, comes from a long line of kings, the eldest son inheriting the throne. Although challengers to the throne come along regularly, typically they are men. By definition, Wakanda is a patriarchy. I also am not the only one who believes this. In Minna Salami’s essay she writes “Wakanda, the fictional African country where Black Panther takes place, is a patriarchy.”

Although, it is not the worst situation, in terms of patriarchy. For example, in the movie, Okoye is referenced as the greatest warrior in all of Wakanda, “ NAKIA to Okoye (CONT’D), You are the greatest warrior Wakanda has. Help me overthrow him before he becomes too strong. Okoye stares at Nakia in disbelief.” This proves that although Wakanda is a patriarchy, women are respected, acknowledged, and needed in Wakandan society. There are also full female fighting regimens in Wakanda. They are called the Dora Milaje. Again this shows the watcher that women are not made out to be less than men. 

We can further prove this by comparing it to other patriarchies in the real world. For example, let’s take Afghanistan. Located in southern Asia, Afghanistan is one of the most, if not the most, patriarchal societies in today’s world. The laws against women are created to give men more power. Some examples of this include the continuing barriers between women and education. The Taliban in that area are trying to limit women in the classroom, but also in the workplace. This has caused poverty for women in that area, resulting in Afghani women having to lean on men. This creates a cycle of dependence which leads men to have power continuously.

In Afghanistan, women are often discouraged from pursuing careers and are expected to prioritize their domestic duties. This stands in stark contrast to the societal norms in Wakanda, where women are encouraged to work and pursue their passions. One notable example is the head of the technological department, who is a woman and holds a position of significant influence and responsibility. This level of empowerment and recognition for women is unfortunately not the norm in many parts of the world.

In summary, although Wakanda can be classified as a patriarchy, there are other places where this is much worse. Additionally, Wakanda shows us that patriarchy isn’t inherently negative and becomes harmful only when oppressive regimes like the Taliban oversee it. 


Works Cited:

“Ten of the worst countries for women’s rights.” Concern USA, Concern Worldwide US, 15 Aug. 2022,

“Women’s rights in Afghanistan.” Medica Mondiale, June 2023,

Salami, Minna. “Black Panther deserves an Oscar – but is it a feminist film? No way.” The Guardian, edited by Betsy Reed, Guardian US, 18 Feb. 2019,

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