So we all know that the attitude towards women in spaghetti westerns is "pretty neanderthal". Women are depicted as either harlots or damsels in distress, which in either way are just objects waiting for our (anti)hero to have his way with them, but there is always more than meets the eye, exceptions that prove the rule, etc.
What do you think about female characters in SW? What would be noteworthy examples of strong female characters?
Here's few thoughts on the subject from my side.
Jill - Leone generally didn't care much for female characters, in his movies they're either there to represent the symbols or they're completely missing, but he managed to steal the show in this category also with that woman we are all deeply in love with, a whore and a saint and a mother (matriarch), who is the central character in on of the greatest movies of all times.
Corbucci - His treatment of female characters I count as one of the greatest virtues of his SWs. There's strong female in most of his SWs, with Iris Berben and Giovanna Ralli being best examples, adding feminist overtones to Companeros and the Mercenary.
Other notheworthly examples:
1. Quien Sabe? - one of my favorite SWs has everything, including strong, self-thinking woman in fiery Adelita, who is the most important supporting character in this movie, and also Carla Gravina has very important small role as Don Felipe's wife.
2. Cemetery Without Crosses - Example of much respected somber SW, with strong female lead in Michéle Mercier.
3. Forgotten Pistollero - Female characters in this one are somewhat too one-dimensional, but so are the rest of the characters which are taken straight from Greeek drama. Nevertheless, two female characters and their relationship with the main character are at the core of this movie.