Town in Brazil made up entirely of women has made an appeal for bachelors (but only those willing to live by female rules!)

It’s like the opening gambit of an advert for cheap deodorant. A Brazilian town populated only by women has made an appeal for eligible bachelors.
More than 600 women live in the town of Noiva do Cordeiro, south-east Brazil. And most of them are aged between 20 and 35 years old.
Now they have extended an invitation to potential suitors. But don’t start packing your bags just yet – any men who go have to understand that this corner of the Brazilian countryside is very much a woman’s world.

Some of Noiva de Cordeiro’s women are already married and have families, but their husbands – and any sons over 18 – are made to work away from home and only allowed to return at the weekends.
It means girl power rules in the rural community, with women in charge of every aspect of life – from farming to town planning and even religion.

And residents say their town is that much the better for it.
‘There are lots of things that women do better than men. Our town is prettier, more organised, and far more harmonious than if men were in charge,’ said Rosalee Fernandes, 49.
‘When problems or disputes arise, we resolve them in a woman’s way, trying to find consensus rather than conflict.
‘We share everything, even the land we work on. Nobody competes with anyone here. It’s all for one, and one for all.
‘The whole town came together recently to help buy a huge widescreen TV for our community centre so we can all watch soap operas together.
‘And there’s always time to stop and gossip, try on each other’s clothes and do each other’s hair and nails.’

But while none of the residents of Noiva do Cordeiro would have it any other way, it has left them with just one problem.
Nelma Fernandes, 23, admits it’s impossible for her neighbours – renowned in the region as strikingly beautiful – to find a would-be spouse.
‘Here, the only men we single girls meet are either married or related to us, everyone is a cousin. I haven’t kissed a man for a long time,’ she said.
‘We all dream of falling in love and getting married. But we like living here and don’t want to have to leave the town to find a husband.’

The lack of eligible batchelors has now led the community’s many single young ladies for make an appeal for interested men – but only those willing to adapt to living in a women’s world.
Ms Fernandes said: ‘We’d like to get to know men who would leave their own lives and come to be a part of ours.
‘But first they need to agree to do what we say and live according to our rules.’
Noiva do Cordeiro was born in the hills near Belo Vale, in Minas Gerais state, after founder Maria Senhorinha de Lima was branded an adulterer after leaving a man she had been forced to marry.
She was chased out of town in 1891 after the Catholic church excommunicated her and the next five generations of her family when she shacked up with another suitor.
Shunned by the local population, she and other women who subsequently went to live with them were vilified as loose women and prostitutes, causing them to isolate themselves from the outside world.

In 1940, an evangelical pastor, Anisio Pereira, took one of the women, aged 16, to be his wife and founded a church in the growing community.
However, he proceeded to impose strict puritanical rules, banning them from drinking alcohol, listening to music, cutting their hair or using any type of contraceptive.
When Anisio died in 1995, the women decided never again to let a man dictate how they should live. And one of the first things they did was to dismantle the male-biased organised religion he had set up.
Rosalee Fernandes said: ‘We have God in our hearts. But we don’t think we need to go to church, get married in front of a priest or baptise our children. These are rules made up by men.’

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