Sultanate of Women
The Sultanate of Women (Turkish: Kadınlar saltanatı) was a period when wives and mothers of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire had great influence. This happened between the years 1533 and 1656. This included the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. He was married to Hürrem Sultan (also known as Roxelana).
Many of these women were slaves, as traditional marriage was thought too big a risk for the Sultan. The Sultan was expected to have no personal allegiances outside his title. During this time, sultanas held political and social power. This allowed them to influence the daily running of the empire, and request the construction of buildings, and philanthropic works. An example of this is the Valide Sultan Mosque.