Lahu Women's Lib
One of the more fascinating aspects of the interplay of highland ethnic minorities is how similar yet different they can be. Lahus and Akhas, whose languages are so similar that they are just shy of being mutually intelligible, are completely opposite in the realm of gender roles. Among Lahus, who are matrilineal, men and women share equally in all duties and most social customs, the even distribution of responsibility and social stature goes so far as to allow women to be religious leaders of their communities. Akha women, however, bear the majority of the burden of both farming and household chores while the only distinguished role available to them is that of nyi pa, a shaman or spirit healer.