The Matriarchy of Kerlile
Motto: 'Long live the matriarchy!'
Anthem: 'In missione'
|Legislature||Council of Kerlile Parliament of Kerlile|
|14 February 1924|
• Borders closed
|27 November 1960|
|302,459 km2 (116,780 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2015 estimate
|Currency||Kerlian Credit (KCD)|
The Matriarchy of Kerlile is a matriarchal dictatorship, currently ruled by President Rebecca Arnott. The nation is known for discriminating against men, while providing women with greater rights and protections than in other countries. The current President, appointed in July 2019, has publicly supported reform of their policies.
Emigration is illegal from Kerlile, while immigration is only permitted for women. Men are forbidden from owning property, joining the military or holding public office. Lesbian marriages are legal while marriage between gay men is forbidden. Kerlile has a large military, with national service for all women for two years upon turning 18 and conscription laws. Kerlile actively involves itself in foreign conflicts. Kerlile has capital punishment and is known for frequently executing people for treason.
Foundation & early years
The Matriarchy of Kerlile was founded in 1924 by a group of women on the principles of women’s liberation and escaping the historic discrimination faced by women. The founding charter of the nation restricted the rights of men within the territory, with the stated aim of ensuring the patriarchal attitudes prevalent across the globe at the time would stop at the border.
The ‘Founding Mothers’ were ten women who, for the first decade of Kerlile’s existence, were each in charge of a specific region. Most decision making in this decade was made on a local level, however in 1934, the ten founders met in the city of Grapevale, later to become Kerlile’s capital, to form a Council to discuss the future of the ‘women’s utopia project’. This was to become the hereditary Council of Kerlile that survives to this day. This was the beginning of centralised rule in Kerlile.
Following the foundation of the Council of Kerlile, the ten founders agreed that one of their members, Wilma Greenwood, should be appointed President of Kerlile. She was to be the official head of state of Kerlile. In order to ensure, however, that the region Greenwood had managed was represented on the Council, she was immediately succeeded as Councillor by her daughter, Rebecca Greenwood, who was only 14 at the time. Some historians have claimed the young Rebecca’s ascension to the Council was an early sign that the “utopia was turning into a quasi-feudal state”.
During the first Greenwood presidency, the population of Kerlile grew rapidly, as campaigns aimed at encouraging women to immigrate to Kerlile were launched, and proved successful, particularly following the economic downturn experienced by many other countries during this period. Kerlile promised work for all immigrants, and vowed to support women who were fleeing domestic violence. It is estimated that upwards of 44% of immigrants to Kerlile in the period between 1935 and 1955 were victims of domestic violence in their countries of origin.
In the early years of the Matriarchy, restrictions were already in place preventing men from owning property, holding government posts, and working in certain professions such as police officer. These were meant to be temporary. However, there were much less restrictions than in present-day Kerlile, and in early Kerlile, women and men often worked side by side. Reports of life in early Kerlile indicate that, at the time, the nation was thought of as the beginnings of a women’s paradise by most of the population regardless of gender.
After the retirement of the first President Greenwood, the Council chose from within its membership a successor, Nancy Arnott. Those supporting the initial utopian ideals were outraged by what they saw as a blatant attempt to prevent the beginning of the democracy they were promised upon the foundation of Kerlile. In an attempt to address these concerns, President Arnott and the Council created the Parliament of Kerlile, an elected body. All female Kerlian citizens over the age of 21 were eligible to vote in the first elections to the Parliament of Kerlile, which took place in 1943.
The creation of the Parliament was seen by the populace as a fulfilment of the promise made by the Council to establish democracy in Kerlile, however this was not to be the case. In the legislation creating the Parliament, the Council reserved the right to screen all potential candidates for Parliament and veto any they did not like. Therefore, the Parliament was consistently made up of only supporters of the Council, and was unlikely to challenge the Council, which remained in existence and acted as a second chamber of the legislature.
From its creation until the late 1950s, the Parliament was responsible for the passage of laws pertaining to education, healthcare and other everyday issues, however matters of national security remained the purview of the Council. During this period, the rights of men in Kerlile were restricted more and more heavily, with most of this done slowly and in secret. By the late 1950s, more and more men were attempting to leave Kerlile, but the government had stopped issuing passports and tended to stop them at the border.
In 1954, some uninhabited territory was quietly re-designated “Region 17”, and the general public banned from setting foot in the area. It was rumoured at the time that the region was to be used for weapons testing, however its true purpose became known by the end of the 1950s: a number of prison facilities were to be built on the site.
Following the death of President Arnott, the Council appointed a third founder, Sunita Patel, as the third President of Kerlile. While Arnott had attempted to hide the more authoritarian side of her policies, and tried to appease the populace by offering better education and healthcare as compensation for their loss of rights, Patel was a much harsher president. Upon taking office, she immediately signed an executive order banning all men from entering or leaving the country.
Closing of the borders
On the 27th November, 1960, the Council of Kerlile ordered all border crossing points closed. Kerlian citizens were forbidden from leaving the country, and persons wishing to enter were restricted to diplomatic personnel from other nations, and women who had already applied and been accepted to the immigration programme.
The Parliament tried to dispute this measure, however the Council dissolved the Parliament and arrested those who had supported contradicting the Council. The Council then drafted a constitution stating they were the supreme authority of Kerlile and could not be contradicted or challenged by Parliament.
Following this date, no further immigration applications were accepted for three years. From 1963 onwards, all potential immigrants were subjected to an ideology test, although immigration applications were uncommon following 1960.
In the 60s, Kerlile began expanding its military, and gearing its economy towards warfare. A wall was constructed along the border with Conternia, who responded by increasing military presence near the border. The rights of men were restricted further and further, until by 1967 it was written in Kerlian law that men had no rights whatsoever. Meanwhile, the Parliament was reinstated, but its functions even more limited and its activities could be vetoed by the Council or President at all times. In 1968, it was publicly acknowledged by the government that Region 17 was comprised solely of various detention facilities.
1970 brought the death of President Patel, and the appointment of her successor, Susanna Pierre. Pierre was the first non-founder to become President, instead being the daughter of Marilène Pierre. Pierre did not agree with the explicit military posturing of her predecessor, and instead focused on building the intelligence service, ensuring compliance among citizens at home, and focusing on gathering information on foreign nations rather than threatening them.
In the 1970s there was a spate of disappearances across the country. It is widely accepted that the Kerlian government were responsible for these disappearances, however they have consistently blamed the bordering nation of Lauchenoiria. The disappearances included a number of female orphans between the ages of 1 and 3, which was publicised widely in the media of bordering countries at the time. The disappearances were seen as the final nail in the coffin for Kerlian democracy, and further reinforced the idea that the Council was supreme.
1983 coup attempt & aftermath
In 1983, Councillor Joanne Robinson, who had only recently succeeded her mother to the Council in 1981, attempted to use an obscure measure in the 1960 constitution to ‘recall’ President Pierre back to the Council to answer for the negative image of Kerlile held across other nations. The Council voted on the measure, however the ‘coup attempt’ as it was deemed by Kerlian media failed by an unknown amount. The following morning, Councillor Robinson was found dead on the floor of the Council chamber.
Speculation at the time suggested the Robinson family was to be ostracised from the Council for this action, however this was not the case, and Joanne was succeeded by her daughter Sarah, who was pregnant at the time, after two months. No further challenges to Susanna Pierre’s presidency were issued.
Following the relatively peaceful mid to late 1980s, Pierre was succeeded by Sara Viallamando after her death at the age of 75. Viallamando was an unexpected choice, with many expecting the presidency to pass to Rebecca Greenwood. However, Greenwood died shortly after Pierre, leading to the selection of Viallamando as president.
Early speculation over what Viallamando’s presidency would be like suggested that she would increase the rights of citizens and reverse the authoritarian direction of her predecessor. This was not to be the case. In the first year of Viallamando’s presidency, executions increased by 134%, and the prison population doubled.
One of Viallamando’s first acts was to rename Region 17, which had become colloquially known as “Hell” because of rumours that inmates in facilities there were regularly tortured, the Restricted Region. The official reason behind this change was to emphasise that only authorised personnel were permitted to set foot in the area.
Following the execution of 70 men for “anti-matriarchal activity” in 1992, a group calling themselves the Democratic Kerlian State (DKS) attempted an uprising in Kerlile, aimed at overthrowing the Council and establishing a democratic state in its place. DKS was led by a woman called Henrietta Bartlett, and they managed to capture a considerable amount of territory in the early years of the war. DKS was supported by Lauchenoiria in a military capacity.
However, the forces of the Matriarchy captured the early DKS stronghold of New Winford in 1994, which was seen as a turning point in the war. DKS began to lose more and more territory, and in 1997, Lauchenoiria withdrew from the war. The remaining members of the DKS group fought until 1999, fearing what would happen to them if they surrendered.
Following the civil war, President Viallamando passed away in 2001, and was succeeded by Joanna Greenwood, the granddaughter of the first President Greenwood. In her initial years as President, the amount of disappearances and executions dropped rapidly. Greenwood was also known for her commitment to animal rights and green policies. However, during her presidency, the execution rate has crept up again.
In 2018, Kerlile joined the Second Lauchenoirian Civil War on the side of Suleman Chaher, who staged a coup against Prime Minister Laura Moore of Lauchenoiria. Later, following the death of Chaher, he was succeeded by Charissa Clarke, who was later revealed to have been a Kerlian citizen born as Amanda Cartwright. The war ended upon the signing of the Haven Accords.
The President of Kerlile is commander-in-chief of the military, as well as Head of State and Head of Government. She has full autonomy, though in practice will delegate tasks to her Cabinet, consisting of women appointed by her.
The presidential succession is decided by the Council of Kerlile, a hereditary body composed of descendants of the founders of Kerlile. The Council are the primary legislating body for Kerlile, and in practice can recall a President, although the only known attempt to do this resulted in the death of the Council member who proposed the motion.
The Parliament of Kerlile is a body elected by all women in the country over the age of 18, from a list of candidates pre-approved by the Council of Kerlile. The Council can dismiss any MP they wish at any time, and also have the power to arbitrarily dissolve Parliament.
In Kerlian culture, men are employed in menial work for low wages, without being given a choice over which job as they are assigned by the government. Women are considered the stronger sex, and are therefore given the better jobs and run the government. Child-rearing is done by both parents, though the mother has final say over decisions affecting her children.
LGBT rights in Kerlile are complicated, with same-sex marriage being legal for women but illegal for men. Lesbian couples traditionally double-barrel their surnames when married. Transgender rights are also complicated, in order to be officially recognised as trans, individuals must go through a tedious government process to be granted 'permission'. Transgender people are often discriminated against.
Recreational drugs, including tobacco, are outlawed in Kerlile for the common people, however government officials may acquire permits to import such substances. Drinking alcohol is legal for women over 18, however forbidden for men of all ages.
In heterosexual marriages, the man is legally required to take the woman's surname, and all children inherit the woman's surname. Only female children are allowed to inherit property.
Emigration is illegal, with any Kerlian women attempting to leave the country being imprisoned, and any men executed. Those who successfully manage to escape frequently take refuge in other countries who do not extradite to Kerlile. Lauchenoiria is the most well-known of these nations.